BUTTE — Monday's Montana High School Association meeting in Butte may forever alter the pace of basketball games across the state.
The MHSA will vote on a proposal issued by Great Falls CMR to implement a 35-second shot clock to all boys and girls games at the varsity and sub-varsity levels. If passed, the proposal calls for shot clocks to be installed following the 2021-2022 season and be in use by next season.
The proposal notes four benefits of utilizing shot clocks:
- A shot clock would stop stalling in games and require teams to improve game management and strategy.
- The faster pace of the game would encourage player development and improvement.
- The quicker pace would improve the game experience for fans.
- Using a shot clock would better prepare student-athletes for the pace of the game at the college level.
The primary drawback of shot clocks touched on in the proposal revolves around the cost of purchasing, installing and running the shot clock units. The proposal estimates that the total cost of buying and installing shot clocks would range from $5,000 to $10,000 per school.
While the high cost may be a point on concern, the proposal also notes that "representatives from all classification levels of MHSA Basketball stated that community sponsorships, booster clubs and basketball programs themselves would support the funding for equipment and installation as needed" and that "cost was not determined as a deterrent at any level (AA-C) and therefore the proposal was encouraged to proceed."
If the proposal passes, it calls for shot clocks to be installed in time for summer basketball camps and tournaments, which would give players and teams time to adapt to them.