Basketball: Local coaches look forward to shot clock

35-second shot clock will be mandated beginning with the 2026-27 season

Shot clocks will be coming to a gym near you for the 2026-27 high school basketball season.

The IHSA Board of Directors recently approved the move.

Schools across the state will be required to have a 35-second shot clock for varsity games at the start of the 2026-27 season. Its use for lower levels of basketball will be determined by conferences and a mutual agreement between competing teams in nonconference games.

“I love it. Think 35 seconds is perfect. It will speed the game up, make it more exciting,”

—  Mike Filippini - Hall coach

According to MaxPreps, the shot clock is already being used in 17 states and currently on a trial run in three.

The IHSA previously allowed the use of a shot clock at shootouts and tournaments. IHSA executive director Craig Anderson said in a statement that the feedback from those events influenced the new mandate.

Most local coaches look forward to the shot clock and the new dimension it will bring to the game.

Princeton coach Jason Smith works his team during a timeout Tuesday night at Kewanee. The Tigers lost 64-59 win in overtime.

“Personally, I think it’s been a long time coming,” Princeton boys coach Jason Smith said. “I think it will make it interesting from a basketball team for those teams that like to grind every possession. With the style that we like to play, I don’t think it will have any influence on us.”

“I love it. Think 35 seconds is perfect. It will speed the game up, make it more exciting,” Hall coach Mike Filippini said.

“It really intrigues me. Love the idea of being able to run certain sets toward the end of the clock,” St. Bede boys coach Brian Hanson said. “Also love the idea of being able to switch up defenses according to time left per possession, etc. Those parts are fun to think about.”

Princeton girls coach Tiffany Gonigam said it was not something she was advocating for, but is a change she will welcome.

“I viewed it as something that was a matter of when it would happen not if,” she said. “I typically like to play with a fast style, although there are times and situations where there is strategy and benefit to playing with a slower pace.

“There will be some adjustments needed for coaches, players, officials, and schools, but I think it’s all being done to make the game better and better prepare kids who wish to play at the next level.”

Hall girls coach TJ Orlandi said he’s a little indifferent to the change, but he points to a game last season when Sherrard went up two on Hall to start the fourth quarter and “went into a complete stall, just holding the ball at the top of the key for most of the rest of the quarter. That’s not really basketball to me so in that sense it will avoid things like that.

“I think there will be some adjustments and some growing pains at first as teams get used to it.”

Bureau Valley boys coach Jason Marquis said he’s pretty neutral on the subject.

“I like the shot clock for purposes of the game, but realize how hard it is to find volunteers to work games as it is today and I don’t know that the burden of needing additional volunteers and additional money for the clock itself is worth it,” he said.

Princeton's Noah LaPorte shoots between Kewanee's Kashen Ellerbrock (left) and Brady Clark Tuesday night at Prouty Gym. The Tigers won 61-55.

The logistics of having the shot clock is certainly a concern for all with schools having to fund the new device, but also find the right people who will know how to run it and know the rules.

“My only concern is finding people who know how to run it. Schools are gonna need to find people that know basketball rules and shot clock basketball rules,” Filippini said.

“It’s one more thing for the officials to worry about with schools having to have someone to operate the clock and have the know how to do it,” Smith said.

“One worry would be having people game in and game out trained on the clock,” Hanson said. “There are a lot of situations where the clock goes to a certain number of there is a kicked ball violation, etc. Back when I played in college the shot clock was 46 seconds that’s how old I am.”

“Schools will have to spend more money to install the clocks, then hire someone to run the shot clock each game,” Orlandi said. “It’s something else for refs to be aware of now as well. It will be interesting that first season but like anything else. After a year or two, everyone will just be used to it and the game will go on.”

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