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Will Nevada install shot clock?

Steve Yingling

California’s fast-paced lifestyle has found its way to the high school basketball court. Last month, the California Interscholastic Federation adopted a 35-second shot clock for boys basketball. A 30-second clock already is in place for girls basketball in California.

Some believe the countdown is under way for the clock’s arrival in Nevada, but Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s Director Jerry Hughes denies it.

“The shot clock will never happen in Nevada until it’s a national rule. We follow the national federation rule book to a T,” Hughes said. “We don’t have enough time to make up or own rules. We let the national body take care of that.”

However, South Tahoe High 22-year coach Tom Orlich feels it’s only a matter of time before the clock sits atop backboards in Nevada high school gyms.

“It’s coming. Whatever California does, Nevada usually follows,” Orlich said. “If Nevada goes to it, there’s a possibility that we’ll have a clock in the gym this spring.”

Currently in Nevada, players have eight minutes, the time span of a quarter, to shoot or not to shoot.

Hence, some teams stall with a lead late in a game and others will start a delay game earlier if a club isn’t willing to come out of a zone defense.

Hughes received six phone calls following South Tahoe’s zone semifinal victory over Sparks last month, complaining about the Vikings’ second-half delay tactics and urging the adoption of a shot clock.

“My feeling is that the rules are the rules. Until the rule is changed they can do exactly what happened,” Hughes said. “I hate to see a team hold the ball the whole game, that’s not what basketball is about. I think the game should be exciting.”

South Tahoe faces an almost exclusive California schedule in the preseason, bringing the clock into play in at least a third of its games during the 1997-98 season.

“It changes the thinking. I’ve already thought about talking to some West Valley coaches and Santa Clara coaches. Both programs have slowed the tempo down (after the shot clock’s arrival),” Orlich said.

Dave Barich’s South Tahoe girls team has encountered a 35-second shot clock during its past two visits to the Davis Tournament in Davis, Calif.

“It came into play three times a game for us because we weren’t used to it. But the teams down there were used to it and it didn’t affect the game,” Barich said. “I think the intent of it is to take away the extreme cases, the 10-6 scores.”

California first considered a shot clock for boys basketball during a 1996 Spring Federated Council meeting. The council tabled the proposal until a meeting last fall when it asked the Northern and Southern sections to determine the clock’s desirability and, if so, was a 30- or 35-second clock preferred.

A CIF state survey revealed that 76 percent of school officials favored a shot clock. Officials favored the 35-second clock (35 percent) compared to 27 percent for the 30-second clock.

Hughes was surprised when California adopted the clock, eliminating its representative on the national rules committee.

“They should have proposed it as a national rules change. Now they no longer belong to the rules committee,” Hughes said.


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