- Scott Powers, Reporter
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The National Federation of State High Schools announced Tuesday its basketball rules committee voted against the addition of a shot clock for its 18,000 basketball-playing schools, which includes Illinois. A shot clock is used some states, including California and New York.
“In addition to the fact that there is some concern about the costs associated with the use of a shot clock, the committee also expressed a belief that the game is typically played with an up-tempo style even without a shot clock,” NFHS director of performing arts and sports Kent Summers said in a statement. “In addition, the committee believes that coaches should have the option of a slower-paced game if they believe it makes their team more competitive in specific situations. This could be especially true for smaller schools with limited budgets, which comprise a significant number of the 18,000 basketball-playing schools. Since the NFHS writes rules for all sizes of schools and teams, it has to consider what is best for the masses.”
Loyola coach Tom Livatino understood the committee’s vote, but he believes a shot clock would help Illinois high school basketball.
“I’m in favor of a shot clock,” Livatino said. “I thought it would improve the quality of the game and would unify basketball in high school and college.
“Having coached in the city and the suburbs, I understand the concerns over cost and personnel to operate it. But from a pure basketball standpoint, I thought it would he help the game, and it would be something the players and coached enjoyed.”
Simeon coach Robert Smith believes the IHSA should look into the shot clock issue down the road.
“It would enhance the game and help the kids going to college, so they could be used to it,” Smith said. “I know when they were first talking about it that it would be an issue in the Public League because you have to have someone operating it and install two of them in each gym.
“It’s something later on in the future we should look at as an association about getting them and being able to use them and get kids used to them when they get to college. It might affect us at Simeon having the lead and stalling at the end of games, but we’ll just have to change.”
St. Rita coach Gary DeCesare also is in favor of the shot clock which was used when he coached high school basketball in New York.
“I think it prevents the stall game,” DeCesare said. “It involves offensive skill development for all players. I think it allows for more comebacks. It makes the game more exciting.
“I think you’re doing the kids a disservice. If they’re going to go anywhere to play in college, they’re going to use it. I thought it was great when I was in New York."
The NFHS voted against the addition of a shot clock for its 18,000 schools.