One of the two shot clocks used at Baxter Arena for the 2021 Metro Holiday Tournament.
FeaturedMike Sautter

Metro Tournament Star of the Day: The Shot Clocks


Let’s just say there has been a plethora of shot clock conversations on social media in the past six months, A conversation that is usually reserved for the state basketball tournament. 

The conversation took a turn in May when the Basketball Rules Committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations gave its blessing for state associations to adopt a 35-second shot clock for the 2022-23 season.

The national group’s rule 2-14 says that each state association may adopt a shot clock beginning in the 2022-23 season — according to guidelines outlined in the Basketball Rules Book — to encourage standardization among states. Guidelines include displaying two timepieces that are connected to a horn that is distinctive from the game-clock horn, and using an alternative timing device, such as a stopwatch at the scorer’s table, for a shot clock malfunction. The guidelines also allow for corrections to the shot clock only during the shot-clock period in which an error occurred and the officials have definite information relative to the mistake or malfunction.

The Metro Conference petitioned the state to receive permission from the National Federation to use the shot clock on a temporary basis due to the pending proposals the conference has submitted to the NSAA. The state received permission from the NFHS to use shot clocks for the 2021 Metro Tournament quarterfinals, consolation games, semifinals and finals two months ago.

The end result of the shot clock experiment is to be determined. After one day there was little to no negative effect in the eight games that were played at Baxter Arena. 

In the eight games – four girls and four boys – there were five total shot clock violations, two in the girls games and three in the boys games. Two of the boys’ violations came in the second quarter of the Omaha Central 58-51 win over Millard North. 

Shot Clock Stats

Three shot clock statistical categories that I made up for the day were forced possessions or a possession that ended in a heave to the rim to beat the shot clock, operator error and referee error. For the day there were two forced possessions, both of which came in the first game, one reset error also in the first game and one referee error administering the rules which was in the fourth game of the day. Not bad for 256 minutes of play. 

The only outcome the shot clock affected was Millard North girls 47-46 come-from-behind win over Bellevue West. With Millard North trailing by seven with 1:35 left in the game normally you would see Bellevue West work the clock or force Millard North to foul to stop the clock. Instead Millard North forced turnovers and won the game on a last second free throw from freshman Avril Smith

“We talked about that as one of the biggest areas a shot clock would come into play was the end of quarters….I think we only had maybe two times where it affected us,” Millard North coach Chris Paulson said. “At the end of the game you have to have a plan.” 

Paulson’s team used the practice to perfection on Tuesday. 

“End of game situations you have to look to get into a set and make a play because that thing is not going to go off for a minute and a half.”

At the end of the day the games were played at pretty much the same pace and for fans the basketball was better to watch.

Tuesday’s Results


Millard South 77, Omaha Benson 63; Bellevue East 54, Gretna 42; Millard North 47, Bellevue West 46; Omaha Central 74, Omaha Westside 55.

Wednesday’s Semifinals at Baxter Arena

Millard South vs Bellevue East, 3:30 p.m. 

Millard North vs Omaha Central, 5:15 p.m. 


Bellevue West 83, Gretna 58; Omaha Central 58, Creighton Prep 51; Omaha Westside 66, Elkhorn South 46; Millard North 74, Papillion-La Vista 37.

Wednesday’s Semifinals at Baxter Arena

Bellevue West vs Omaha Central, 7 p.m. 

Omaha Westside vs Millard North, 8:45 p.m.

Gretna’s Higdon Commits To MWSU

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