High school basketball: NFHS opens door for states to adopt 35-second shot clock

Jordan Divens | MaxPreps.com Wednesday, May 12, 2021 2:45pm

Rules committee urged adoption beginning in 2022-23 season to create standardization between states.

Beginning with the 2022-23 season, states can decide to adopt and use a 35-second shot clock for high school basketball games. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) approved the measure that leaves open the door for major change across the hardwood landscape in coming years.

Nine states use either a 30- or 35-second shot clock, but the adoption of Rule 2-14 says that each state association may adopt a shot clock beginning in the 2022-23 season — according to guidelines outlined in the Basketball Rules Book — to encourage standardization among states.

“We provided the committee with a lot of information regarding the shot clock, including responses to a 46-question survey sent to states currently using a shot clock,” said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee.

Prior to the 2020-21 season, the Georgia High School Association approved a phase-in of a 30-second shot clock for all varsity boys and girls basketball games, becoming the ninth state to adopt a shot clock.

The Peach State joined California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Washington as the only states to use a 30- or 35-second shot clock.

Guidelines approved by the NFHS include displaying two timepieces connected to a horn that is distinctive from the game-clock horn, and using an alternative timing device, such as a stopwatch at the scorer’s table, for a shot clock malfunction. The guidelines also allow for corrections to the shot clock only during the shot-clock period in which an error occurred and the officials have definite information relative to the mistake or malfunction.

Although a proposal for a national rule mandating a shot clock was not approved, the ruling is likely to bring momentum to the shot-clock movement across high school basketball.

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, a total of 540,769 boys participated in basketball in 18,617 schools, and 399,067 girls participated in the sport in 18,210 schools across the country. It is the third-most popular sport for boys and girls.

The NFHS paved the way for states to adopt a 35-second shot clock, like the one used in the 2019 Washington 3A semifinals.
File photo by Paul Caldwell
The NFHS paved the way for states to adopt a 35-second shot clock, like the one used in the 2019 Washington 3A semifinals.