STEVENS POINT, Wis. (6-22-17) The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and approved a number of committee recommendations impacting winter sports, gave initial review and consideration of a newly conceived divisional placement plan for basketball.

Following a lengthy discussion, the Board voted 6-4 to implement the use of a 35-second shot clock in basketball for varsity games only to begin with the 2019-20 season.

Milwaukee Public Schools administrator and board member Eric Coleman told the Journal-Sentinel:

“Flow of the game. I think along with how going to halves has changed the way coaches have coached, the shot clock will change the way people coach, the way the game is approached, the way the game is played.”

According to the Journal-Sentinel story,  the Coaches Committee supported it unanimously, but Sports Advisory and the Advisory Council did not support the idea. The WIAA executive staff was split.

WIAA associate director Deb Hauser told the board that the shot clocks would cost $2,000 to $2,400 and stated that the WBCA was “working already to find a corporate sponsor or a company that may give schools a deal state-wide.” The clocks would also require an additional worker at the scorer’s table.

States who are presently using a shot clock for high school basketball are Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, New York, California, North Dakota and South Dakota.

In 2015 Wisconsin another major change was made when the WIAA approved playing halves for basketball.

In other basketball-related action, coaches qualifying for the Sate Tournament will determine the seeds for the four qualifying teams in each of the five divisions with a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association representative breaking any ties that may occur beginning in 2017-18.

Three other basketball recommendations received approval from the Board. If schools choose to play only one half of a junior varsity game and a full varsity game, players will be allowed to play in only two halves. Also approved was extending the coaching box to 28 feet from 14 feet for all levels. In addition, the number of players per team allowed to dress during the Tournament Series will increase to 18 while maintaining the maximum party limit of 22.

The Board also voted to convene the basketball coaches advisory committee following the 2017 Area Meetings to discuss the merits of a newly created basketball tournament placement model. Details of the plan will be shared and discussed at the Area Meetings and at each level of the committee process to be presented to the Board at its Jan. 31, 2018 meeting. General details of the plan is provided below.

Basketball Tournament Placement Model

a. Division 1 – Schools with enrollments of 1200 or greater.
b. Division 2 – Schools with enrollments of 600-1200.
c. Division 3 – Schools less than 600 with classification codes city or suburban and schools of 450-600 with classification codes town or rural that are in excess of the 256 school enrollments in Division 4 and 5.
d. Division 4 – Schools with classification codes town or rural comprising 128 schools with the lowest enrollment sponsoring basketball after Division 5 is determined.
e. Division 5 – Schools with classification codes town or rural comprising the 128 schools with the lowest enrollment sponsoring basketball.
f. Cooperative teams are placed into divisional competition on the basis of the combined enrollment of the schools
g. Schools may be allowed to play up one division from where its enrollment would otherwise place it if an application is submitted prior to April 3, 2017. This will not cause other schools to be displaced.
h. A member school will be placed up one division the first two years of its eligibility for tournament play.
i. Any member school appearing in a State Tournament will not be placed in a smaller-school division the following year even if a decline in enrollment would normally place team in the lower division. This also applies to any school who has chosen to play up in a higher division.