WCAC expected to put in shot clock for next season

By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 15, 2010; 2:00 PM

The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference is close to adopting a shot clock in boys' and girls' basketball.

The league's athletic directors recommended using a 35-second shot clock for boys' basketball and a 30-second clock for girls' basketball. The measure moves to the principals of the league's 12 schools, who will vote on the recommendation at their June meeting.

"I've been doing this for three years and the shot clock comes up every year," WCAC Commissioner Jim Leary said. "This is the first time there has been a consensus."

The Interstate Athletic Conference in boys' basketball and Maryland public schools in girls' basketball are the only leagues to currently use a shot clock.

The National Federation of State High Schools Associations Basketball Rules Committee discussed the use of a shot clock at its annual meeting earlier this week, but it is not yet known if the committee made a recommendation to the NFHS Board of Directors.

Putting shot clocks in a high school gymnasium costs between $1,500 to $2,000, but the administration of the shot clock is the bigger concern. Having a knowledgeable person to operate the clock who is aware of when to reset it can be troublesome.

"That's been the conversation the last year and a half, getting people in place to use it and getting referees used to it," Leary said. "There is going to be a transition."

Still, it seems the WCAC will have shot clocks in place at its games next season. And some of its coaches are more than ready.

"I think it's a great thing," DeMatha Coach Mike Jones said. "I think it goes further in preparing our guys for college basketball. There are so many guys that leave the WCAC and go on to play college basketball at low levels and at very high levels. This is another way they are going to be more prepared than some of their counterparts from other places. For point guards in particular, it's going to be an added bonus for them."

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