WIAA votes down high school basketball shot clock

Published: Nov. 30, 2017 at 8:55 PM CST
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The WIAA has voted down a motion to implement a shot clock in high school basketball games.

The WIAA Board of Control Friday, voted 3-7 against a motion to implement shot clocks for boys and girls basketball. There is no timetable for the board to revisit the proposal.

The shot clock is a timer designed to increase the game's pace and scoring. If implemented, the offensive team would have to attempt a field goal in 35 seconds.

WIAA Board of Control President Scott Winch tells NewsChannel 7 feedback from several school districts helped lead the board to its decision.

"There's cost, I think there's training. I think my big thing would be the training of the officials, and training of an operator," Winch explained. "As we've heard from our membership, it's just not the right time to be implementing this on a state-wide level."

Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Craig Broeren respects the decision, pointing out many unanswered questions about how a shot clock would be put into place.

"It is really going to be more workers? What kind of dollar outlay are we talking about to get gyms and scoreboards retrofitted with a shot clock?" Broeren said. "Is it going to have broader implications to the game, the kind of game that's played?"

But supporters of the change, like Lincoln High School head basketball coach Dan Witter, say the proposed new rule is inevitable.

"I think it's unavoidable. It's going to happen," Witter said. "Our kids are going to get used to playing with it just they have for halves, just like anything that's rules changed in the last few years."

It's why Winch is hopeful the topic gets revisited at a later date.

"We look forward to seeing if the coaches can come up with a compromise or a way to pilot this program in the state that would be beneficial for the schools and for the student athletes," Winch said.

Winch says it's possible the discussion about this issue will be brought up again next spring, where discussion of ideas for a pilot program - or trial run - of the shot clock may be shared.