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GHSA to implement shot clock for high school basketball
Three-year implementation period to begin during 2020-21 season
Alcovy Tigers Avion Young putting up an easy layup after breaking away from the Rockdale County Bulldogs. Photo by Michael Pope.

A shot clock is coming soon to high school basketball in the Peach State.

The Georgia High School Association passed a proposal Tuesday to mandate the use of a 30-second shot clock for all varsity basketball games. It will be phased in through a three-year implementation period, beginning with the 2020-2021 season. 

Georgia is now the ninth state in the nation to implement a shot clock for varsity basketball games, joining California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Washington.

Beginning this winter, the shot clock will be used by the GHSA only in approved holiday tournaments and showcase games. It will not be permitted for use in region games or playoff contests. Schools will have permission, however, to mount shot clocks on the top of backboards or set up portable clocks in the corners of courts.

During the 2021-22 season, the shot clock will be approved for use in tournaments, showcase games and region play, so long as the region permits it.

The 2022-23 season will see shot clocks used in all varsity basketball games throughout the regular season and state playoffs.

While the approval of shot clocks was the most notable takeaway from Tuesday’s meeting, the GHSA’s Executive Committee also approved proposals for considerable changes in cross country and track and field.

In cross country, teams will no longer compete in area meets throughout the season. Instead, they’ll hold region competitions in every classification from Class A to Class AAAAAAA.

Meanwhile, the bevy of changes approved for track and field are as follows: 

  • The GHSA will adopt the NFHS rule that allows individual athletes to compete in any four events at track and field meets, as well as being listed as one of eight participants on relays
  • Schools may now enter up to three athletes in each of the 14 events at area and region qualifying track meets
  • Only one track entry will be permitted per relay, with eight runners for area and region qualifying track meets
  • A 3,2000-meter relay will be added to the list of track events
  • An 800-meter relay will be in place by the spring of 2022