We are always looking to improve the game. Whether it is from the aspect of coaching, athleticism, analysis, skill work, youth development (Alan Stein & I are working with a group on this), game play & lastly officiating (cough) to make the game as good as it can be. The High School game seems to be the last to adopt any changes. We all know it trickles downhill from the NBA/FIBA to NCAA to High School but it almost seems that the trickle has stopped. Here are a couple of rules or changes that I think would improve our game play at the High School level.
1. Shot Clock
If you coach in one of the states that uses it I'm jealous. The argument about making the shot clock a part of high school basketball is the cost to install shot clocks at every high school that plays basketball. That has some validity but I don't see that as the major hurdle. To me it would be the personnel to operate it.
In my part of the country, a certain sport played on Friday nights in the fall has plenty of people to work mainly because the admin treat it like a freakin holiday. Everything is scripted from coin toss to national anthem to who unlocks what gate at what time. Coaches just coach & everything is handled by admin or the ahletic department. On the other end of the spectrum is an indoor sport played twice a week where the head coach, an assistant or both clean the floor after the PE class is done, set out chairs, unlock the concession stand and hope that the score & bookkeeper show up all while preparing for the game. (deep breath) QUESTION: Why don't schools assign game duties like they do bus duties? Makes too much sense
Cost isn't what would keep the shot clock from thriving in high school basketball. It is the lack of personnel to do it. This falls on the local schools. Cost could be minimal. If the cost of a shot clock is an issue, just have one clock at half court. Talk about home court advantage. If Vanderbilt can play in the SEC with benches on the baseline a high school should be able to get away with having one shot clock.
We need a shot clock in High School. I say 30 seconds would be plenty. I'd like to see it go to 24 seconds for every level. A shot clock forces every player to be skilled which in turn forces coaches to teach skill to every player. Maybe that is the hold up. Some guys don't want to teach their 5 to dribble. A shot clock would add more strategy to the game. More last second shots, better clock management & forces defense. Yes, defense. No more getting a 5 point lead & sitting on it. You'd have to execute & defend better to win down the stretch. Plus, it validates the back court violation. Ever been victim to an 8 or 12 second violation? Moving on...
2. Charge Circle
A lot of people aren't a fan of this because they feel the officials would belooking at the line more than they are the play. Believe me, the last thing I want to make the officials worried about is something else. I mean c'mon, they already have to keep 10 players shirts tucked in, 2 coaches inside their boxes, make sure their arm is raised perfectly when calling a foul or violation so adding another thing to worry about could be devastating to them. The circle is needed for the players. It teaches them where to defend. We put one down with shoe polish to show where you have to be. Lastly, it gives the officials an out. It puts the block/charge call back in the players hands.
3. Quarter to Halves & add time
If you've ever played in a tournament that uses halves instead of quarters it has a great feel to it. Every rule the NFHS comes up with is to speed up the game so to me this is a no-brainer. Change the game from 4 8 minute quarters to 2 18 minute halves. That would technically increase the game length but it eliminate the minute between quarters & would make an adjustment to the NCAA less of a learning curve. Even leaving it at 16 minute halves would be great.
The players that play both JV & Varsity would have a limit of 3 halves a night versus the current 5 quarters a night rule.
Those are the changes I'd like to see happen to the High School game. If you have any other suggestions or thoughts I'd like to hear from you. Gwhite32@att.net