WIAA approves shot clock for high school basketball for 2019-20 - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

WIAA approves shot clock for high school basketball for 2019-20 season


It's something many thought would never happen in Wisconsin. A shot clock is coming to high school basketball.

The WIAA Board of Control on Thursday approved a motion to add a the clock by a 6-4 margin. The rule will be put in place starting in the 2019-20 season.

The shot clock will be 35 seconds in length for both boys and girls, according to WIAA Associate Director Deb Hauser. 

Wisconsin becomes the ninth state to approve this measure. Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, New York, California, North Dakota and South Dakota already have a shot clock in place.

"It really forces players to really improve and hone their skills in the game of basketball.  I think in our area, we've had really strong programs and dedicated kids and I think all in all you're going to see a better game of basketball as a result," said Onalaska boys coach Craig Kowal.

"I'm really excited they did pass it.  It adds to the excitement of th game.  It will make it a faster pace and the people that are coming to watch it they want to see that kind of pace.  Truthfully, they want to play at that pace too.  So making a 35 second shot clock won't change how we play but it could change some of those people we see day in and day out," said Aquinas girls coach Dave Donarski.

The biggest concern for the WIAA is cost and also implementation. Hauser said she's unsure of what the cost will be for each school, but WisSports.net reports that it could cost schools anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for each school. Hauser said it will vary from school to school depending on the system the school already has in place.

"Obviously there will be some cost involved," she said. "(Schools) who have older clocks will have to find a way to make it work. It's going to depend what a school has in their gym now and what it might take to convert it or add that option."

Hauser said the season why this won't go in place until 2019-20 is so schools can have the opportunity to research and budget accordingly.

The implementation of the rule comes as a surprise to many outside the WIAA offices as well. Just this past March, speaking with Newsline 9 Sports Director Brandon Kinnard at the WIAA state basketball tournament, Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association president Jerry Pettigoue downplayed the talk of a shot clock, saying he thought the addition was highly unlikely.

"Not in my lifetime," the 76-year-old joked. "The reason why is the expense involved in it. You're looking at $3,000 to $4,000 dollars per school to put the clock in, and then getting someone to run it.

"It can be done, but I just don't see it happening in the near future," Pettigoue said.

Though she expressed surprise in the decision to add this rule, Hauser said there will be positives from this change.

"Obviously when a team holds the ball spectators voice concerns," she said. "I think there will be many people who will be excited to hear that this has been approved because of the entertainment value."

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