The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and affiliated Baltimore Catholic League have adopted a 35-second shot clock for the upcoming basketball season.
The shot clock will be in place this season for all three of the MIAA conferences and the BCL at the varsity and junior varsity levels.
After years of consideration, the addition of the shot clock was approved in April at an annual meeting among MIAA athletic directors after the leagues' coaches made a formal proposal following the conclusion of last season.
The shot clock will be in play for any games between MIAA and BCL teams, and against out-of-league competition that already has a shot clock in place.
"We're excited to be taking that step to advance the game. Our kids, especially in the 'A' Conference, are pretty advanced and this will help them get acclimated to what they will be seeing at the college level," MIAA executive director Rick Diggs said.
The referee organization has been sending referees to scrimmage games to help schools get adjusted to the shot clock system.
Diggs said adults will mostly be in charge of running the shot clock during games. All schools will be properly equipped with a shot clock system when play begins this season. Regularly playing with a shot clock also will benefit teams when they compete in holiday and postseason tournaments that already have it in place, including the prestigious Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament.
"The shot clock is a welcome addition that will help prepare our student-athletes for the next level," said John Carroll coach Tony Martin, whose Patriots compete in both the MIAA A Conference and BCL. "The MIAA A Conference and BCL are loaded with future college players, so it only makes sense. We are very comfortable with the clock having played with it in numerous tournaments over the years. ... Personally, our staff and players are excited about the change."