Basketball teams adopt professional solutions

High School basketball is following the lead of many college and professional sports by instituting a replay system.

The replay system will be available for use in state high school basketball championships for the 2009-2010 season to help determine the outcome of games.

 The Basketball Rules Committee for the National Federation of State High School Associations voted to allow this equipment to monitor shots that occur before the clock hits zero in the fourth quarter or in overtime. The main requirement is the last second shot attempt would have to affect the final score.

This change to Rule 2-2-1 is in response to disputes in three states as to whether a shot was made before time expired during their 2007-2008 state championship games. The teams could have benefited from replay.

“I understand how games are won and lost,” coach Tony Sheals said. “Not those officials make any mistakes. Just some timing errors based on the clock going off and certain high schools can’t afford to have the light that comes synchronized with the score clock.”

The light synchronization with the score clock plays a vital part in the calls of officials. This change also allows a red LED light to be placed behind or on the backboard to signal expiration of time.

The placement of this red light is optional for schools. If a school decides against this light, they can use an audible timer’s signal.

With this rule change the question of who foots the bill for the equipment comes to light. With the state of Florida experiencing school budget cuts, where will the money come from?
“There will be no impact on the schools since it can only be used during postseason.” said Mary Struckhoff, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee. “Since this is a state event the state will more than likely absorb the costs.”    

Struckhoff adds that it is up to the state’s athletic association if they need to hire an outside company to man the equipment. Calls to the Florida High School Athletics Association spokeswoman were not returned about this rule change.

Coach Sheals hopes that if the FHSAA adopts this rule, there will be some way to fund this addition without having to charge more for fans to attend the game or increase fees for schools.

To date, the national association is still soliciting comments from states as to whether they will join in this change. The main hold up for the adopting of this rule is most states have to go through board of directors or some kind of oversight board to get something like this approved.

It is not yet known if the board of directors for the FHSAA has adopted this change. Calls to the board of directors were not returned.