High school basketball continues to evolve in the state of Wisconsin.
Two years ago, the WIAA shifted away from four quarters of play, and teams now play two 18-minute halves.
The WIAA approved a couple measures Thursday that will have just as great an impact, if not more, on high school hoops, including the implementation of a shot clock for the 2019-20 season.
By a 6-4 vote, the WIAA Board of Control approved adding a 35-second shot clock to varsity games beginning in 2019.
“For some teams, I don’t know if it’s going to make a whole lot of difference,” said Janesville Craig athletic director Ben McCormick, who recently took over as the Cougars boys basketball coach. “It depends on the style of team you have. It does prevent a team, perhaps a lesser team, from holding the ball and stalling.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported at least eight other states already use a shot clock in high school basketball.
The idea, much like the shift to two halves, is improve the flow of the game.
The delay in implementing the shot clock until the 2019-20 season will give schools time to add clocks or update scoreboards.
“I haven’t had time to really sit down and think about how it will affect things,” McCormick said. “You have to get funding for that (scoreboards). Some of the smaller schools might have a tougher time funding that, with smaller budgets. But I’d imagine, going state-wide, there will be some vendors that step up and say, ‘If you go with this vendor, it’ll be a significant discount.’
“The logistics of implementing it will be a new challenge.”
The other key basketball decision Thursday came at the state-tournament level. The four participating coaches from each division will meet and seed the teams for state play, with a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association representative on hand to break ties.
The WIAA also voted for similar seeding procedures at state team wrestling.
And in boys hockey, teams will be split into two divisions for WIAA postseason play on a two-year experimental basis beginning in 2019-20.