A story in the Jan. 30 Press Herald (“Basketball Notebook: Low score rekindles debate,” Page D1) asked if it was time for a shot clock in high school basketball.

The reasons for re-introducing this debate were a low-scoring game that same week, another low-scoring game five years ago and to prepare the players for the next level, college, where a clock is used.

This same debate took place several years ago but died away after an in-depth study showing the average time it took for a shot to be attempted in high school was 24 seconds.

So should the clock be set at 20 seconds? Is that basketball? And should every other school in every game during the entire season be changed on the strength of two games, five years apart, and preparing for the next level?

I personally believe high school kids have enough to prepare for at the next level, if indeed they are going to college, without worrying about having to play with a clock. Secondly, I don’t believe anyone truly likes a slowed-down game. Dull and boring. Period. But it is a tool in a coach’s toolbox to be used sparingly, like once every five years. Isn’t coaching high school kids tough enough without removing tools from the tool box?

There’s nothing wrong with high school basketball today. In fact, it’s pretty darn good just as it is. I don’t think we need change just for change’s sake.

Robert Woodbury


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