Wisconsin bringing shot clock to high school basketball

High school basketball in Wisconsin will implement a 35-second shot clock beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (WIAA) Board of Control approved the rule on Thursday, its second major change to high school basketball in two years. In 2015, the state dropped eight-minute quarters for 18-minute halves.

Just two months ago, Maryland adopted a 35-second shot clock for boys basketball (girls already use a shot clock). Fewer than a dozen states use a shot clock for high school basketball, but more are considering it to combat stall tactics and speed up the game.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Milwaukee Public Schools administrator Eric Coleman, a former basketball coach, was one of the board members who supported the shot clock’s adoption.

“Flow of the game,” he said when asked what he liked about adding a shot clock. “I think along with how going to halves has changed the way coaches have coached, the shot clock will change the way people coach, the way the game is approached, the way the game is played.”

The recommendation to add a shot clock didn’t receive complete support as it worked its way through the WIAA legislative channels. The Coaches Committee supported it unanimously, but Sports Advisory and the Advisory Council did not support the idea. The WIAA executive staff was split.

WIAA Associate Director Deb Hauser told the Journal Sentinel that a survey of the state’s basketball coaches found that 81% supported the addition of a shot clock. Schools must spend money to add the clocks to their gyms and train operators, so delaying implementation by three years allows them to prepare.

During last year’s Wisconsin high school basketball postseason, Antigo beat Rhinelander by a score of 14-11. Antigo held the ball for the last seven minutes of the game before hitting the winning shot, and the strategy fueled calls for a shot clock.

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