Shot clock coming to prep hoops?

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SALT LAKE CITY - High school basketball in Utah and across the nation could have a different look in the near future.

The National Federation of State High School Associations is set to meet in April to discuss and vote on a slew of possible rule changes.

Kevin Dustin, Assistant Director for the Utah High School Activities Association, is on the national committee and sat down with KSL's Rod Zundel to discuss what possible rule changes will be addressed.

Probably the biggest change that could be coming to prep hoops is the addition of a 35-second shot clock. According to Dustin, the shot clock could be implemented within the next five years. Last year, the vote was extremely close but the issue was turned down.

If the national committee approves a shot clock, it is expected to cost each school around $2,000 for the equipment needed, and that does not include the cost of having to pay a person to run the clock.

The change would effect the varsity, JV and sophomore games for both boys and girls. "We would do it across the board," Dustin said.

Another issue on the docket is the structure of the game itself. The national committee will be voting on transitioning from four quarters to two halves, with possibly either 16 or 18 minutes per half.

"That would allow more players to participate, because coaches would be more likely to substitute in the first six to eight minutes of the game," Dustin said.

Also on the agenda is when a player can enter the paint on a free throw. The current rule restricts players from moving into the lane until the ball hits the rim, but the push is to allow players in the paint after the free throw try is released from the players hands, making it similar to the rule enforced in both college and the NBA.

Other changes that will be discussed by the national committee:

  • Requiring players to wear a tooth/mouth protector
  • Prohibiting the head coach from calling a time-out during a live ball. Only a player could call a time-out during a live ball.
  • Strengthening the penalty for illegal elbow contact above the shoulder.

Some of the major rules changes could alter the look of high school hoops as we know it.

Most of the time, though, progress is a good thing.

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Robert Jackson and Rod Zundel


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