Basketball: MSHSL approves basketball shot clock from 2023-24 season


The Minnesota State High School League board of directors voted unanimously Thursday, Dec. 2 on a motion to implement a 35-second stopwatch for boys and girls college basketball starting in the season 2023-24.

Former Brainerd High School Director of Operations Charlie Campbell, now in his first year as Associate Director of MSHSL, raised the issue at the board meeting.

“I don’t know as a staff if we had a strong opinion anyway,” Campbell said. “I don’t think we view basketball as a broken event that needs to be fixed. We have good, even good basketball in Minnesota without a stopwatch. What really rushed the movement to move this forward was that the national federation last spring changed the rules of the competition and said states can decide whether they want to use a stopwatch.

The use of shot watches has been debated among activity directors and coaches in recent years.

“Knowing that our coaches have been asking for it for a number of years,” said Campbell. “We wanted to lead the process of presenting the issue to our board of directors. We have been very careful to collect feedback through coaching associations and regional meetings with school administrators this fall and a survey that has been sent to all of our member schools. It was a thoughtful conversation and today was a good day to endorse a stopwatch and I think a lot of coaches and fans are happy about that.

Little Falls chief operating officer and former boys and girls basketball coach Kevin Jordan said he was fairly neutral on the matter.

“I think some people will be for and some against,” Jordan said. “As an AD, I’m pretty neutral. Our coaches were in favor, so we voted yes for that reason. Will this help the game? It remains to be seen.

Little Falls High School’s gymnasium already has a shooting timer ready for 23-24, but Jordan is happy that these are just college games for now.

“From an AD point of view, I was hoping they would give us a year or two even though we have a stopwatch in place,” Jordan said. “I know a lot of schools don’t, so I’m happy they’re bringing it up for the 23-24 season.”

Brainerd Warriors ‘head boys’ basketball coach Charlie Schoeck is thrilled with the decision and has been pushing for a stopwatch since he started coaching at Brainerd four seasons ago.

“I’m really excited for this,” he said. “It’s something that whenever issues arise I voice my opinion first with Charlie and now with Jack (Freeman) and we’ve always supported it. I think for the way kids want to play basketball and how we want to play the game, that makes sense. “

Schoeck wants to see a shot clock eventually at lower levels and not just at college.

“I would love to see it for the JV and maybe also for these lower levels,” he said. “Maybe there’s a situation where we can get laptops out of it and at least get these guys to train with it and get used to it.”

When the shot clock is implemented in 2023-24, it is only mandatory for college games, but lower levels can use it if both teams agree.

Wadena-Deer Creek girls’ head coach Jordan Cresap agrees, as does her father Dave Cresap, longtime head coach of the Perham boys, on the approval of the shot clock.

“As a coach I’m excited for this,” said Jordan Cresap. “I lobbied for it and I voted to pass it. I think that will do a number of things to improve the game and keep the flow of the game going. I think the end of games will be a lot more interesting and a lot more back and forth.

“(My dad) agreed as well. He pushed for it and voted for it too. I think it’s just a long overdue thing.

Campbell said some of the concerns expressed by administrations were general. The cost of equipment and installation as well as schools that hire and pay for personal events at work were all areas of concern.

“The other concern was finding quality staff,” Campbell said. “I think we’ve heard if it’s an accountant, a public address announcer, or a timekeeper. Schools are like the rest of industries in the United States, and labor shortages are real. I think that’s why the board said not to give schools time to prepare next year.

Schoeck said having a shot clock won’t change his approach as a coach too much.

“I think the only thing you really see changing is that it will help us defensively,” he said. “There are still a lot of teams that like to work time and that will kind of stop those teams from executing that pattern, movement infractions that frankly aren’t that fun to play and are not that fun to watch. “

CONRAD ENGSTROM can be contacted at 218-855-5861 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter at