AKRON, Ohio — The high school basketball season wrapped up Sunday with two Northeast Ohio teams winning titles: Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary and Richmond Heights. High School hoops in this state have remained relatively unchanged for the last 35 years, but time is ticking on a new rule that could change the game.
Players and coaches across the state say that the game is getting faster.
“That’s what these kids want to do. They want to play up and down," St. Ignatius basketball coach Cameron Joyce said.
"In theory, I think it would make the game more exciting," Archbishop Hoban coach Pam Davis said.
“I hate not having the shot clock," Garfield Heights basketball coach Sonny Johnson said.
Ohio is one of 41 states that don't require one for high school basketball, but it could be on the way soon.
Joyce said he thinks it's about time for a change.
"That's what these kids want to do," Joyce said. “The kids want to be in entertaining games and the shot clock is only going to help them learn and grow.”
“Nobody wants to pay $7, $10 to go watch a team hold the ball for two minutes," Brush coach Chet Mason said.
But there are also those who oppose a shot clock being added.
"We play a little more deliberate style of basketball and take our time with possessions and we make it a possession game. I think that the shot clock would favor the teams with more talent," Dover basketball coach Bob Van Kaenel said.
Keith Snoddy knows that style of play after coaching for more than a decade at Triway High School. He said that he hopes a shot clock never happens.
"Yeah, I do have a strong opinion. I think it will hurt the type of play that schools like ours can do," Snoddy said.
Regardless of how a team plays, it's not the first time there has been resistance to a change in the game.
At one time, basketball had no backboards, no dribbling and no dunking.
OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute is one of the people who will listen to everyone's input and sign off on it.
"But I'm going to take care of Ohio and what's best for Ohio," Ute said.
One way or another, discussion and debate will continue.
In May of last year, the National Federation of State High School Associations voted for the first time to formally recognize high school shot clocks nationwide, beginning next season.
Five new states already plan to take the federation up on that opportunity.
Ohio is not yet one of them. The OHSAA says it will continue to research, but at the moment, operating costs and volunteers to run the clocks remain the largest roadblocks.
We put the question to our viewers last week, and an overwhelming majority of those who responded to our poll — 85% — think high school basketball games should have shot clocks.