Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


It's back: The H.S. basketball shot clock debate

It's back: The H.S. basketball shot clock debate

I never really plan to do this topic, it just keeps coming up. I looked it up, we last discussed this exactly two years ago tonight on Sports Talk (January 30, 2018).

A high school game in Pennsylvania this week has sparked the most recent debate.

What purposes is served by not using a shot clock in high school basketball? How can the game continue to operate in the dark ages?

A shot clock is better for the game, players, coaches and fans. It adds flow and pace to the game.

Eight states currently have a shot clock, ranging from 30 to 35 seconds: California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington and Rhode Island.

I get it. The biggest issue is cost. A recent story in the Star-Times reported the price range is between $2,000-$2,400 per clock. There is also the issue of paying a shot clock operator.


Sports evolve. All sports evolve. It's 2020, not 1950. We don't have black and white TV's. This isn't Hoosiers. A shot clock isn't a luxury item, it's a necessity. If H.S. basketball was invented today nobody would think it's a good idea to play the game without a shot clock. Every level of basketball above high school uses a shot clock.

The cost for the clocks is a one time expenditure. How many years of use will a school get out of a shot clock? A decade? More? How are shot clocks affordable for the schools in the eight states currently using them?

Schools already pay for scoreboards and clocks for football, wrestling, swimming, track and field, cross country and other sports. How do schools pay for those clocks? How do you justify paying for those sports and not basketball?

Can you imagine a high school football game without a play clock? The QB can't stand at the line of scrimmage and repeatedly yell, "hut, hut, hut."

What is wrong with corporate sponsorship and naming rights for a shot clock? As for paying shot clock operators, please.

Give 'em gift cards from the sponsor of the shot clock. Fundraise. Host a car wash. Sell brownies. But really, who wouldn't want to volunteer for the job that gives them a prime spot to watch every game, especially a school alum?

Two years ago my Twitter question on this topic saw 80.2% vote in favor of a shot clock.

Agree or disagree?

Join our conversation HERE. We will discuss tonight in 7pm hour. 

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