High School Sports

UIL officials nix basketball shot clock, keep 6A football plan

Keller guard Kennedy Kress had plenty of time to make a 3-pointer against Justin Northwest last season.
Keller guard Kennedy Kress had plenty of time to make a 3-pointer against Justin Northwest last season. Special to the Star-Telegram

The UIL Legislative Council on Tuesday considered a 35-second shot clock for basketball, home-field advantage in first-round football playoff games at the Class 5A level, and a defined double-elimination format for the 6A and 5A baseball tournaments.

In the end, it’s unlikely any of those measures will be enacted for the 2016-17 school year.

The idea of a shot clock in basketball was dismissed at the meeting in Round Rock, with the UIL maintaining that it follows National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rules, and until the NFHS mandates a shot clock the UIL will not make the change.

North Crowley boys basketball coach Tommy Brakel didn’t hide the fact he was disappointed.

“I think the UIL and the state of Texas are completely missing the boat on this one,” he said. “Why do we play? To give our kids an opportunity to go on and play at the next level, and they’re going to use it in college. Why we wouldn’t use it at our level makes absolutely no sense to me.”

Also brought up was pitch-count limits for baseball pitchers, but the council will continue to research the idea.

The council avoided taking action on home-field advantage for the higher seed in 5A football bi-district playoffs, claiming the proposal wasn’t posted 30 days ahead of time, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The measure will be taken up in October, but even if passed then it would probably be too late to implement for the 2016 football season.

Currently, the 6A top seeds host first-round football playoff games under a pilot program that started this past season. That will continue this season.

The council rejected a proposal to allow live TV broadcasts of football games on Friday nights, leaving the current regulations in place.

With the baseball season concluded just last week, a number of proposals were discussed regarding regular and postseason play. Separate recommendations to eliminate the one-game playoff in the rounds and to create a double-elimination format for the 6A state tournament were tabled to allow the council to further study the plans.

One change it did make in baseball and softball was to create a separate championship for Class A schools. Under the new format, A and 2A schools will be grouped for district play but then split into separate playoff brackets.