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Survey: 70% say stalling OK in high school basketball

April 20, 2016 / Basketball
In March, Coach & Athletic Director asked coaches whether stalling was an appropriate strategy in basketball — specifically, holding the ball for several minutes in high school games where there is no shot clock. This issue became a topic for debate last winter when a Wisconsin high school team won a game by a score of 14-11 with the help of a stalling offense.

StallBasketballIn the survey, 69.7% of coaches said it was an appropriate strategy for teams to stall, while 13.8% said it was “unsportsmanlike.”

Here are the results of our survey, along with some comments from respondents.

• I hate it. But why should the offense be forced to shoot if the defense isn’t forced to guard? It’s the defense’s job to stop an offense. I 100% disagree with any coach that chooses to hold the ball when behind for minutes at a time to make or keep the score “respectable.” Just don’t know that if I have a matchup advantage to the point that another team sits in a zone, I shouldn’t be able to force them to come out and guard my team. Seems like it’s all strategy to me. I’m for a shot clock at the HS level, but not because of stalling as the single issue motivating it.

I see things from both sides. It’s similar to the NBA “hack-a-shaq” rule. Sucks from an aesthetically pleasing standpoint but if my offense has stalled out and we need to preserve a win and it’s within the rules, I probably would. I’m a proponent of having a shot clock in the high school game. That would eliminate this.

Held it in a state final game (as a point guard) because the team was in a 2-3 matchup zone and coach knew they would beat us in that and wanted to pull them out of the zone. It is not always fun for others but the object is to figure out a way to win.

As a coach you must give your team the best chance to win. High school offense is awful now. What would a 30, 35, 40 second shot clock do but make it worse. Plus one more thing the officials have to worry about.

As long as coaches are playing within the rules then they should be able to do what they think is necessary to give their team a chance to win. Defenses do not have to sit back and allow a team to just hold.

If the better team has the intention to blow the team away just because they can, then the underdog team has a right to pull it out. If the teams are equal in talent, let the kids play. I have been on the receiving end of blowouts where in the 2nd quarter we were mercy ruled but the teams pressed the ENTIRE GAME. No reason for it. We played another team that was undefeated and held the ball to make us come out only to go right around us because they knew they were quicker than us. I have girls who have never played before 7th grade and we play girls who play year round. We improve immensely by year end but we take our bumps.

I’m on the fence. If you’re lesser skilled or less athletic, it might be your best option. Maybe we should evaluate the defending team. Why weren’t they able to stop this strategy? I’m assuming they were the more skilled or more athletic team. Essentially, two teams allowed this to happen, right? Also, the shot-clock favors the better team which might widen the margin. Therefore, I do not favor a shot-clock.

A delay game can be a much needed tool that enables a coach to control the tempo of a game. Many people see this maneuver as an end-of-game strategy but it can be utilized at any time in the contest when one team needs to reestablish/capture the game’s tempo.

Heck yeah it is. It’s all part of strategy to give your team its best chance to win. It’s not about entertaining the fans. It’s about giving your team the best chance to be successful.

Why is it unsportsmanlike to hold the ball? If the strength of my team is ball handling, that is just as much a part of the game as shooting is. Why should I be forced to shoot in a certain number of seconds? If you don’t want me to hold the ball, come out and play defense and force me to do something else.

As long as there are no shot clocks holding the ball is not against the rules. Does it make the game boring, sure, but it’s gamesmanship. We all play the game to win, and have to find out what strategy works best for your team. That’s what coaches to, coach to give their team best chance to win. Coach Bear Bryant used to use jerseys that when grabbed, would rip off, that eventually changed, but at the time it wasn’t against the rules. While holding the ball doesn’t make for a good visual game to watch, that’s the reason we play, to win the game. If the opposing coach decides to let them hold the ball, it’s just as much on him as it is the ones holding it. You could trap, pick up defensive pressure, many different things to not allow a team to hold the ball. Dean Smith used to do it back in the day with the 4 corners offense. So don’t get mad at a coach for doing what he was hired to do, win.

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