Stopping the clock
WIAA reverses decision on 35-second shot clock
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD – There will be no shot clock in Wisconsin high school basketball after all.
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control voted to reverse an earlier decision to implement a 35-second shot clock for both boys and girls basketball teams at its Dec. 1 meeting.
“After considerable discussion and statements made by school administrators and coaches, the (WIAA) Board voted 7-3 to reverse its decision to introduce the shot clock in basketball beginning in the 2019-20 season. Following its initial 6-4 vote in June to implement the shot clock, the Board received significant and valuable feedback from the membership at the seven Area Meetings in September,” the WIAA issued in a statement.
The original announcement last summer, to have a shot clock, was met with varying opinions from coaches and fans throughout the state. That hasn’t changed, and the decision to keep the status quo is basically dependent on the type of basketball teams want to play.
“Personally, I didn’t want the shot clock,” veteran Spencer boys coach Randy Reckner said. “I guess I’m not surprised it was overturned. It all depends how long you’ve been coaching and what type of team you have. Speaking on behalf of my team, and the way I want to play, a shot clock wouldn’t do us any good. I’m actually happy it’s not coming in.”
Coaches that want to play a faster pace, like the Columbus Catholic boys coach Joe Konieczny, might be in favor of a shot clock.
“I wanted the shot clock, obviously with our style of play we wanted to know that the other team is going to have to take a shot in 35 seconds,” Konieczny said. “I understand the expense part of it and all sides. I wasn’t surprised it was denied, but I was all for it.”
Marshfield girls coach Heidi Michaelis, who stands six wins away from 300 in her 17-year career as the Tigers’ head coach, thought the change would have been a positive for the high school game.
“I’m disappointed as I feel it would be good for the game overall,” Michaelis said. “It would make some games more exciting for sure. Honestly for us, it doesn’t change a lot just because we play a certain way, and we will continue to do so.”
Also at the meeting, the Board of Control decided to send its Rural/Urban competitive equity plan for basketball, initiated by the Board in June, through the membership’s committee process beginning with advisory committee meetings in January.
The plan would affect mainly low-enrollment private schools that are located in large or suburban cities, bumping some of those schools up a division in postseason play. Columbus Catholic would remain in Division 5.
Paul Lecker is the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.