Column: 3… 2… 1… Finally, a shot clock

Published 9:03 am Friday, April 12, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

After a long time coming, the AHSAA finally took the first steps to introducing the shot clock to high school basketball in Alabama. The Central Board of Control approved a recommendation made by the board’s Championship Committee to give schools the option of using a shot clock for regular season, non-area games for the 2024-2025 season, if both schools agree to use it for the game.

The inconsistency of the shot clock in high school basketball has always been something strange to me. I played basketball in high school on both my high school team and local travel team, and even then, there was no correlation having a shot clock for travel ball but no shot clock for high school ball. It did not make sense to me either how some states had a high school shot clock, but some did not. It is almost split 50/50 on if states had it or not. I understand each state has its own governing body, but to not have something like that universally applied seemed like a malpractice. Luckily, the North Carolina High School Association adopted the shot clock for their upcoming season, and plan to take a three-year plan to implement it fully.

Now, it is Alabama’s turn. While the board did take a significant step into introducing the shot clock fully, it still will not be mandatory across all high schools in the state. Instead, the shot clock will be optional, but it will be used during summer classics and the North-South All-Star Game to gather data and help train officials and personnel on how to properly run it.

To me, this is a great first step into bringing the shot clock to high school basketball in Alabama, although it should have been sooner. When I was playing youth football in elementary school we had a play clock. Granted it was a minute long, but it was still a part of the game at an early age that players had to adapt to and take into consideration. Implementing a shot clock at the youth levels the same way football does would give the game of basketball a more universal feel from the youth levels to the NBA. College, semi-professional, overseas and the NBA all have shot clocks of some length. There is no reason youth leagues should not have a minute-long shot clock, and then decrease it as the level of play increases to a 45-second shot clock in high school.

While these initial steps made by the AHSAA are great, I hope in a few years we will see a shot clock in every high school gym and in every game that is played. It is good for the players, it is good for the game of basketball, and it will enhance the product on the court across the state.

Next week I will be speaking with some high school coaches in Chilton County to get their viewpoints on the shot clock, and what they plan to do as it is introduced this upcoming season.