By Nick Freimuth
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control approved a 35-second shot clock for high school boys and girls basketball at its June meeting Thursday. The 6-4 vote will certainly mean lots of changes for the game starting with the 2019-20 season.
Local coaches were very quick to speak out against the ruling. State Championship girls basketball coach from Algoma High School Mark Zastrow said, “I would rather not see the (shot clock). I’m a little concerned that kids will have to make a decision with the basketball only determined by the clock and not determined by the position they are in with the basketball and where the defense is. Kids will be forced to throw up shots because of the time left on the clock and that is my concern.”
Kewaunee State Championship Basketball Coach Lynn Geier said, “I think they (the WIAA) are thinking of the big schools and that’s what they always do. It’s too bad that they are putting even more stress on the players.” Geier truly believes this will take away major competitive advantage for smaller schools and force more blow out games.
The ruling by the WIAA Board will enact the shot clock for varsity games only starting in 2019-2020. All-time leading scorer and Sevastopol Youth Basketball Coach Beth Rikkola said flat out, “I don’t like it (the ruling)!” She is concerned that spacing and patience, two of the most important philosophies in basketball, will be altered in a negative way.
Former Southern Door varsity boys basketball coach and fifth all-time leading scorer at Northland University Ben Rikkola said, there are so many teams that focus on ball control
“The game has worked this way it is for over 100 years and now they are changing it. They have taken the cat-and-mouse ability away from the lesser teams. Lesser teams will now have more trouble to stay in a game against a bigger, stronger and more athletic opponent. Everyone wants to see a closer game. At least from a fan perspective, those are the games that you remember. You’ve just made it harder for games to come down to the wire for lesser teams going up against a bigger and better opponent.”
Southern Door basketball coach for 28 years, Penny Wautier is most concerned about the cost of installing these shot clocks. She said it has been rumored that the shot clocks will cost in the ball park of $2,400 to install. “Plus add on $30 per game for someone to run the shot clock. Schools are struggling financially right now. I do not believe this is a good idea. Did they really think this through?”
Kewaunee Coach Lynn Geier will share her opinions on the ruling later this morning.
To listen to the interviews from Coach Mark Zastrow, Beth and Ben Rikkola click on the audio links below:
Ben & Beth Rikkola Part 1:
Ben & Beth Rikkola Part 2: