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Wisconsin adopting 18-minute halves for prep basketball

June 25, 2015 / Basketball
Wisconsin high school basketball teams will play 18-minute halves during the upcoming season, the state athletic association announced Thursday.

Wisconsin high school basketball games will be played in 18-minute halves during the 2015-16 season. | Photo: Kevin Hoffman
Wisconsin high school basketball games will be played in 18-minute halves during the 2015-16 season. | Photo: Kevin Hoffman

Games were played in eight-minute quarters, so the change will lengthen contests by four minutes. Sub-varsity games will be played in 16-minute halves.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association board approved the changes on a one-year trial basis for the 2015-16 season.

There wasn’t a lot of information available on why the WIAA is adopting the halves structure, but it’s not the first time the state has experimented with it. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that schools were permitted to play 16-minute halves during the 2009-10 school year in non-conference regular season games.

From the Journal Sentinel:

There also is hope that the change will improve game flow. With quarter play, teams would often hold the ball for final shot in the final minute or so rather than run their offense as they would do normally.

The switch from quarters to halves also will force a couple of other rules to be adjusted. The mercy rule will now be applied with nine minutes left in the second half for varsity rather than at the start of the fourth quarter and the five-quarter rule, which limits the number of quarters a player can play in one day, becomes the three-halves rule.

The article references a survey that was distributed to the state’s basketball coaches by the WIAA. Of the 943 who responded, 696 (68.4 percent) favored halves over quarters.

Click here to read the complete story from the Journal Sentinel.


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