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Shot clock necessary for high school basketball

Photo Illustration by Mark Rossbach ’21 A Wilson basketball rests on Brophy’s home basketball court in the Robson Gymnasium in front of the hoop and scoreboard. Some believe that the rules in the high school basketball competition level should be updated to add a shot clock in addition to the regular game clock.

Augie Walters ’21


The high school basketball season this year may look different than ever, due to the ruling from the Arizona Interscholastic Association to continue winter sports with athletes wearing masks during competitions and extremely limited attendance.

While all of these changes may be new for the Brophy basketball team, the high school players will still be playing without a shot clock.

The shot clock is a timer that starts when a team receives the ball and ends when the ball hits the rim after a shot.

It penalizes a team for taking too long to put up a shot and keeps the flow of the game moving from one team to the other.

The AIA has played high school basketball without a shot clock in recent history and has been unwilling to make the change for two reasons.

The first reason for not implementing the shot clock is due to the fact that some schools are not able to afford the infrastructure it takes to create it. 

Secondly, the AIA has been following the National Federation of High School rules which does not include a shot clock.

If Arizona high school basketball would shy away from those rules, they would be removed from the rules committee on the NFHS board

The shot clock is used at both the college and professional level to prevent teams from holding onto late game situations and forcing them to truly use their offense when the game is on the line.

This is not good for the sport for many different reasons running from how the game is coached to how it is played.

To start, the shot clock allows for the game to flow as it prevents teams from having to foul their opponents and lets teams play the game out.

Fouling would occur in a situation like this because it is the only way to stop the clock and have a chance to get the ball back.

When a team is winning late in the game, they do not have to shoot the ball without the shot clock and give the ball to the other team.

Instead they can hold onto the ball and wait to get fouled and get free shots at the line instead of having to play the game to score. 

When watching and playing basketball, spectators do not want the game to be turned into a free throw battle where the action is limited and the team leading late has a significant advantage.

Spectators would much rather see action take place where the team is down late in the game and still possess the opportunity to make a comeback.

Furthermore, playing basketball like this does not prepare the athletes for the games they are going to experience at the next level.

Preparing the high school players for the next level and how to handle a late game situation is something they will need to be good at to be successful at the next level.

The shot clock may not seem like a major deal, but its impact to the flow of basketball is immense.

The benefits that are provided by the shot clock should not be overlooked, even at the high school level, as it will help both the players and the fans.

Because of these reasons, the implementation of a shot clock in high school in the near future would positively affect the game in many ways.

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