Implementing a 35-second shot clock for high school basketball games in Minnesota remains a challenge for the state’s coaching leadership.
Tom Critchley, executive director of the boys’ basketball coaches association, presented his case to the Minnesota State High School League board of directors Monday in the league’s Brooklyn Center offices.
A recent survey indicated 70 percent of boys’ coaches and 64 percent of girls’ coaches supported adding a shot clock in hopes of curtailing instances of late-game stalling.
But the board denied the proposal, citing a 128-24 vote against a shot clock by region committees throughout the state. The activities directors advisory committee also voted 14-4 against a shot clock, listing cost and training staff as prohibitive factors.
“The activities directors advisory committee is the group that needs to jump on board,” Critchley said, “because many of the regions, when they consider how they’re going to vote on a specific topic, will say, ‘How did the ADs vote?’ ”
Backing Critchley were Pat Barrett, the MSHSL’s liaison for the girls’ coaches association, and Ron Larson, the former St. Francis activities director and current men’s basketball coach at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
“I’m really disappointed, because the proposal has the overwhelming support of the coaches,” Critchley said, though he added “some progress has been made” after more than a decade since his initial proposal.
Erich Martens, the MSHSL executive director, acknowledged the coaches’ support as well as the concerns of the activities directors.
“There were some things shared that the coaches association could take a look at and say, ‘How might we tweak this if we want to go down this road so that it can be something put in place?’ ” Martens said.
The league did approve the addition of a restricted area in basketball, for both genders. The arc is designed to limit the number of collisions near the basket and create consistency in making block/charge calls.
In other decisions Monday:
• The Minnesota State High School League approved raising state tournament ticket prices by $2 for adults and $1 for students to offset the rising cost of renting venues. The increase, which begins with the 2018-19 school year, is the first in close to a decade or more for 15 of the 17 tournaments with admission costs.
“Our state is in love with the great venues that we have and with that comes increasing costs,” Martens said.
• Wrestling coaches received the option to drop the 106- and 195-pound weight classes for dual meets, thereby reducing the number of forfeits. The two-year experiment does not include the postseason.
• The board approved football district alignments for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Bloomington Kennedy and Richfield were moved from the Suburban District to the Twin Cities District, where they can schedule more competitive games. The Eagles and Spartans have gone a combined 8-47 the past three seasons.