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Big change coming to Nevada high school basketball

Updated September 29, 2023 - 8:47 am

A 35-second shot clock for Nevada high school basketball games will be allowed on a voluntary basis this season. That applies for all varsity nonleague and non-postseason games the next two seasons.

At the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Board of Control meetings Thursday at Palace Station, the board approved the move, with the shot clock being fully implemented for all games, including league and postseason competition, for the 2025-26 season.

“Our basketball coaches are interested in this, and part of the reason is they don’t want to be left behind with what’s going on around us with a basketball shot clock,” NIAA Executive Director Donnie Nelson said at the meeting. “… I’m not saying we need this because of the game and the way it’s being played. We need to consider this because it’s happening all around us.”

An overwhelming majority of coaches are in favor of a shot clock. In a survey sent out by the NIAA during the season, out of 112 responses, 79.5 percent of boys basketball coaches and 76.8 percent of girls basketball coaches support a shot clock.

Nelson said the estimated cost for a school to put in a shot clock is around $5,000.

The NIAA will use a 35-second shot clock, following guidelines from the National Federation of State High School Associations. The board made adjustments to the original proposal to allow shot clock operators to be 14 years old instead of 18 and allow shot clocks to be either mounted above the playing floor or on the floor.

Nov. 23 is the first date for winter sports competition, which includes basketball.

Also discussed at the meeting were proposed changes to the NIAA’s transfer rules. No decisions were made on any changes.

The board discussed the possibility of allowing a one-time transfer rule similar to college athletics or allowing a student who transfers to sit out for 90 days instead of 180 days like current rules state. But the board elected to hold off on further discussions until later meetings.

The NIAA’s transfer rule was in the spotlight this spring as a Nevada Legislature Senate Bill was written asking the NIAA to make a student immediately eligible for all athletics activities after their first transfer from one school to another. The bill died and was not passed by the Legislature.

In regards to realignment, assistant director Bartt Davis said the NIAA is looking at how it wants to structure its Realignment Committee for the next realignment process.

Davis said he’s looking to find the necessary representation from all regions and classifications. He said he’s also going to meet with coaches to hear their feedback on the realignment process.

“That’s a group that has been under-represented throughout this process,” Davis said at the meeting.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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