How close are high schools in Alabama to implementing a basketball shot timer?
The state of Alabama may be one step closer to a shot clock for high school basketball games in the near future.
Earlier this week, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) voted to allow a 35-second clock from the 2022-2023 season through adoption by a state association.
A proposal for a national rule requiring a shot clock was not approved, however.
AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese, who is retiring this summer, said the Alabama association will start exploring the possibility.
“It will be something that will depend on the members,” he said. “(Basketball director) Jamie (Lee) and I talked about it this week. We will discuss this with our coaches at the summer conference and then survey our members to see what the value is for our schools. This information will be forwarded to the October Central Council meeting and will then be discussed. I won’t be executive director at that time, so I don’t know if it will be an action or not at this point. “
To adopt a shot clock, it would need to be officially approved as an action item by the Central Committee. Savarese said, with similar problems in the past, if two-thirds of members are in favor of the issue, the council plans to implement it.
The NFHS said each state association can adopt a shot clock starting in the 2022-23 season – in accordance with guidelines set out in the basketball rulebook – to encourage standardization between states. The guidelines include displaying two timepieces connected to a horn separate from the game clock horn and using another timing device, such as a stopwatch at the scorer’s table, for a stopwatch malfunction. shootings. The guidelines also allow shot clock corrections only during the shot period in which an error has occurred and officials have accurate information about the error or malfunction.
AL.com surveyed more than 600 state basketball coaches about the potential of having a shot clock last summer. Most favored the prospect. Of 131 boy coaches who responded, 96 approved (73 percent), while 48 of 76 girl coaches (64 percent) were also in favor.
“For me that helps a lot,” Calhoun boys coach Ervin Starr said. “We want to throw as many shots as possible and use our energy on defense. It’s the kind of style we’re used to playing. We welcome that. I think it will be great for Alabama state high school basketball. “
Huntsville boys’ coach Christian Schweers is also in favor of the idea.
“I’m pro for sure with a double exclamation mark,” he said. “When you think about it, our level of basketball – NFHS in America – is the only level in the world that plays competitively without a shot clock.
“NBA, WNBA, men’s and women’s college basketball, all age groups at the Olympics, AAU – they all have shot clocks. So it’s like how the hell didn’t we get it? I think it’s a win for basketball. I think it will help grow basketball and force coaches and players to evolve as well.
Most coaches opposed to a shot clock cite cost as the reason. The initial costs will be over $ 2,000 to purchase and install a stopwatch, and schools will also have to pay someone to run the stopwatch.
“I would definitely like to see it, but I really don’t have a strong opinion,” said Fort boys’ Spanish coach Jimbo Tolbert, whose Toros finished second in Class 6A in 2021. “In the past, j I’ve been a little more outspoken for wanting it. Over the years, I can see both sides of it.
“Some small schools are already struggling to have a timer and now we’re going to add a timer?” Can you imagine that? It could be chaos in some places. You would have to have two people. There are pros and cons. We will accommodate any rule in place. “
Schweers said he didn’t think spending or manpower would be as big a barrier as some might think.
“Every high school football team currently plays with a game clock,” he said. “I think it happened quite easily. I think you will run into Mickey Mouse stuff in some schools, but for me it can be part of the cost of the officials. Just pay them to do it.
“Ironically, when I got here in Huntsville, they already had shooting clocks installed and I had them removed. It was three years ago and there was no reason to keep them. They were not compatible with our new dashboard. “
The shot clock would certainly prevent results like Parker’s 6-4 win over Carver earlier this year.
“A few years ago we went to a tournament in Atlanta, and they had the shot clock as an experimental thing,” Mountain Brook boys coach Tyler Davis said. “It kept the game going well. We didn’t have a lot of scenarios where it was late on the shot clock. I love that Alabama basketball is in the national news for positive things. Last year we were on national news for a 6-4 game. We have the opportunity to take the game to another level. “
Two of Birmingham’s most successful women’s basketball coaches are also in favor.
“Our goal in our program is to prepare our players for college,” said Kristle Johnson, head coach of the Hoover Class 7A State Championship. “At university, they have a stopwatch. I’m definitely in favor and I think it will make the game more exciting.
Mike Chase of Spain Park, whose team won the Class 7A 2020 title, agreed.
“I’m coaching AAU competition girls this spring and summer with the 30 second shot clock,” he said. “The flow of the game is incredible. Changing defense in the middle of possession is something we don’t have in high school play. It forces players to think, adapt and react.
“Teams that are ahead in games cannot sit on the ball. We played Hoover with AHSAA officials calling for games, and they did a great job with very little practice, if any. There’s no reason Alabama basketball shooting doesn’t implement a shot clock.
Jarvis Wilson, who has just left Carver-Birmingham, the Class 5A Girls State Champion, to take over as Sparkman, said a shot clock would help everyone involved.
“Using the shot clock in high school will not only allow players to prepare for the next level, but also coaches the opportunity to improve their strategies as part of preparing for the match for the next opponent,” he said. he declares. “It would be so beneficial for our athletes in the state.”