High School Basketball Time Violations
In the game of high school basketball, the clock can be both a friend or an enemy of your team. Every one’s familiar with the actual game clock that counts down the quarters and eventually, the game itself and that clock gets constant looks in a really close game as it eventually becomes the headwind for one team or the other. This game clock is not the only use of time in the game of high school basketball and there are situations where time comes into play during game time. Let’s take a look at some of the more common time restraints or violations that occur in the game of high school basketball.
Aside from the main clock, there can also be a shot clock. This means that from a given point (generally the inbound pass or change of possession). Some high schools use a shot clock while others do not (based on State rules). There’s an added cost to add a shot clock for high school basketball so the push to move towards a nationwide shot clock rule has been controversial although high school is likely to follow the NCAA and Pro’s on this matter eventually. The shot clock is generally 24 seconds and if the ball does not hit the rim or go in, there’s a shot clock violation resulting in loss of possession for the offensive team. This is one major time violation that’s either already at the high school basketball game or probably soon to arrive.
Another common time violation is the standard 3 in the key rule. Basically, you cannot just plant yourself in the key (rectangle region extending out from the basketball on either side of court). If an offensive player is inside the key, the ref will start to count down to 3. The player must move both feet outside of the key before the referee get’s to 3. If the player has not removed him or herself from the key before three, the ref will blow the whistle and the offensive team will lose possession of the ball but the player in question is not given a personal foul. This rule was developed to make sure that a dominant player doesn’t just camp out under the basket, get inbound passes, and overwhelms the defense thus making the game much less dynamic and let’s face it, less fun to watch or play. One note. High school basketball rules do not currently use the defensive version of this rule where a defensive player can be called for a violation essentially if they are not actively guarding a player. This occurs when a defensive player sags to double-team another player. Again, it’s not used at the high school level.
There are two 5 second rule counts that also typically apply at the high school basketball level. First, an offensive player must inbound the ball within 5 seconds when he or she has control of the ball. If the player is unable to inbound the ball, or pass the ball from out of bounds, in five seconds, the team will lose possession. There’s a separate closely guarded 5 second rule as well. This is where an offensive player is closed guarded by an opponent but doesn’t dribble, pass, or shoot the ball. Again, it’s to prevent an offensive player from just holding onto the ball (till the shot clock runs out) and greatly speeds up the high school basketball game.
These are the common ways that time and the clock comes into the game and for the most part, they have been added over time to make the game more fun to watch and play. If there was any downtime, the clock has worked to eliminate it from most prep basketball games.