Wisconsin HS Association Debates Adding Shot Clock

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Copyright 2017 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


GREENFIELD - In June the WIAA Board of Control approved the use of a 35-second shot clock in boys and girls basketball beginning with the 2019-'20 season.

Tuesday WIAA executive director Dave Anderson told athletic directors at the area meeting at Greenfield High School not to purchase any clocks yet.

The measure could still be reconsidered by the board.

"When it was announced in June, there was some very sharp and immediate and critical reaction to their approving the shot clock," Anderson said.

"So when we came back in August, some of the board had said they'd heard from more of their constituents. Let's talk about this. Others on the board said let's go to the area meetings and get a broad, hands-on flavor."

Tuesday was a chance for area administrators to give the WIAA its reaction to the change.

The Classic 8 and Woodland Conference drafted letters stating their disapproval.

Cost is a major concern. One price quoted during the meeting for a pair of clock was $3,400. Some also believe the addition of the shot clock is going to create a less attractive game and create more separation between the good and bad teams.

Some questioned the value of teaching varsity players how to play with the clock but not requiring it be used at the junior varsity and freshmen levels.

And financially, beyond the initial cost, there was a question how much of an investment the shots clocks would become after the addition of maintenance costs.

On the other side of the argument was the idea that the clocks would help lesser talented teams by provided them with plenty of opportunity to rally and actually improve the game.

Tuesday's area meeting was just the second of seven scheduled around the state through Sept. 25.

The board will discuss what it heard at those meetings in October.

"If there is absolutely zero support for this - and you saw there is a little but certainly not what we're seeing in the meetings is overwhelming support - it is within their authority to revisit and resend if they want," Anderson said. "It wouldn't be the first time a decision was changed."

Anderson said that after associate director Deb Hauser retires at the end of the school year that he plans to asked the board for a moratorium on conference realignment with an aim on improving the process.

"Is there a better way to do it?" Anderson asked. "Some of the emotions were bared down here over the past couple of years. If you've got a better idea, help us figure it out.

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September 13, 2017


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