Iowa high school basketball

Iowa high school basketball DEFAULT

'Let's go. Let's play ball:' Shot clocks coming to Iowa high school basketball in

Major change is coming to Iowa high school basketball. 

Following Sunday's Iowa High School Athletic Association rules meeting, a second shot clock will be implemented beginning with the season, a source with direct knowledge of the meeting confirmed to the Register on Monday.

The move, first reported Sunday by KHQA, will apply to boys' and girls' varsity basketball in all classes. An IHSAA announcement could come later Monday, but likely early Tuesday morning.

“It’s a good move to make the game more universal,” West Des Moines Valley girls’ basketball coach Josef Sigrist said. “We’re trying to prepare kids for life and play the game, but it’s also about trying to get kids scholarships and play at the next level. So it’s a positive move in that direction.”   

Major change is coming to Iowa high school basketball, as a second shot clock will be implemented beginning with the season.

This shift in high school basketball was green-lit in May, when the National Federation of State High School Associations announced member state associations could begin using a second shot clock in    

Before this ruling, states could use shot clocks if they wanted to, and some did. But those states were removed from NFHS rules committees and lost certain voting rights. Iowa always opted to follow NFHS guidelines and operate without a shot clock.

Iowa will become the 10th state to use either a or second shot clock, according to MaxPreps, joining Georgia, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Washington. 

"I feel like this helps a lot of teams more than it hurts teams," said Cedar Falls standout Trey Campbell, also a Northern Iowa commit. "That's how basketball should be played, with a shot clock. If people are hoping to go to the next level, they're going to have to get used to it. Doing it now would only help them. 

"It's pretty frustrating when teams hold the ball. It's just like, 'Let's go, let's play ball.'"   

For subscribers:The Register's post-summer rankings for the in-state class

Last year, the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout, a boys' basketball tournament held in Cedar Rapids Jan. , was granted permission to use a second shot clock. This next season will be spent collecting data on pace of play, time of possession and shooting percentage, as well as gathering feedback from the coaches, players and officials.

"Both (the IGHSAU and IHSAA) are about, if there’s things that help make our game better, I think it’s very strongly (we want) to do it," IGHSAU associate director Gary Ross, who's in charge of basketball, told the Register in May. "If it’s just for the sake of having it and it’s not going to make the game better and it’s not going to change the game, is it really a necessary change? And, again, you have people that feel probably strongly both ways."

The argument against shot-clock usage has centered on a few items. Shot clock operation/personnel, financial elements and game implementation are obstacles Iowa will have to navigate with this decision. It also would require added education for officials.

A Register investigation from  determined that mounted shot clock systems would cost anywhere from $2, to $5,, depending on the model. That cost would fall to each individual school, IHSAA communications director Chris Cuellar told the Register in May. Buying clocks for all of Iowa's high schools could add up to more than $1 million, Cuellar said, and the IHSAA and IGSHAU don't have the financial means to provide that.

Tackling shot clock operation/personnel is straightforward. Schools would need an extra person at each game running the shot clock, or somebody already at the scorer's table would need to add that duty.

Game implementation boils down to whether the shot clock is operated correctly, what schools would do if there was a shot clock malfunction and how effectively officials are able to enforce shot clock-related rules.

"To me, it's no different than a football play clock," Sigrist said. "Just having someone who's a volunteer or you pay $20 a game to run a shot clock. I would hear arguments against it like, 'Oh, people aren't going to be competent enough to run a shot clock.'

"I mean, c'mon. We teach everybody for everything. People can be taught to run a shot clock. That shouldn't be a big deal."  

Several of the state's high school basketball coaches and players expressed approval on social media. Former Dowling Catholic guard and Iowa women's basketball star Caitlin Clark tweeted "Finally." Other ex-prep standouts turned Hawkeyes chimed in with approval. Reporters and high school basketball fans from other states responded with hope this decision will spread nationwide. 

"It was always super weird (not playing with a shot clock) because it changes the pace of the game," said Valley standout Ruot Bijiek, who holds several Division I offers. "If you want to go to the next level, you’re going to have to get used to playing with a shot clock and playing a much faster game. I like playing much faster anyways, and I feel like (having a shot clock) will be more exciting for the fans too.

"(Teams abusing the lack of a shot clock) happened a lot this past year. It’s super frustrating, especially when it’s at the end of the game or something. Teams will just hold the ball for like two minutes. That’s the worst."

That'll be no more beginning in

Welcome to the new era of Iowa high school hoops.     

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard. 



Class 1A - #1 North Linn, Troy Mills 77 vs. #8 South Winneshiek, Calmar 53  

Class 1A  - #4 Martendsdale-St. Mary's 51 vs. #5 Easton Valley 45 (OT)   

Class 1A - #2 Lake Mills 61 vs. #7 Montezuma 64 (OT)

Class 1A - #3 Grand View Christian 54 vs. #6 St. Mary's, Remsen 49  

Class 2A - #1 Boyden Hull 74 vs. #8 South Central Calhoun 49  

Class 2A - #4 Aplington-Parkersburg 68 vs. #5 Van Meter 41 

Class 2A - #2 Western Christian, Hull 71 vs. #7 Camanche 55  

Class 2A - #3 Des Moines Christian 58 vs. #6 Beckman Catholic, Dyersville 38

Class 3A - #1 Ballard 68 vs. #8 Clear Lake 45

Class 3A - #4 Dallas Center-Grimes 42 vs. #5 Assumption, Davenport 56

Class 3A - #2 Pella 59 vs. #7 Monticello 46

Class 3A - #3 Epworth, Western Dubuque 37 vs. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 38 (OT)

Class 4A - #1 Cedar Falls 42 vs. #8 Dubuque, Senior 27

Class 4A - #4 Johnston 49 vs. #5 Dowling Catholic, WDM 33

Class 4A - #2 Waukee 65 vs. #7 Pleasant Valley 43

Class 4A - #3 Ames 54 vs. #6 Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln 36


Class 1A - #1 North Linn, Troy Mills 63 vs. #4 Martensdale - St. Mary's 51

Class 1A -  #7 Montezuma 49 vs. #3 Grand View Christian 35

Class 2A - #1 Boyden-Hull 77 vs. #4 Aplington-Parkersburg 66

Class 2A - #2 Western Christian, Hull 56 vs. #3 Des Moines Christian 47

Class 3A - #1 Ballard 74 vs. #5 Assumption, Davenport 65

Class 3A - #2 Pella 46 vs. #6 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 32

Class 4A - #4 Johnston 64 vs. #1 Cedar Falls 51

Class 4A -  #2 Waukee 71 vs. #3 Ames 36


Class 1A - #7 Montezuma 44 vs. #1 North Linn, Troy Mills 41

Class 2A - #2 Western Christian, Hull 56 vs. #1 Boyden-Hull 50

Class 3A - #2 Pella 69 vs. #1 Ballard 59

Class 4A - #2 Waukee 61 vs. #4 Johnston 50

View All Tournament Box ScoresSours:
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Iowa High School State Basketball Tournament

Monday, March 9

Class 1A Quarterfinals 

Montezuma 75, Martensdale-St. Marys 50 | BOX SCORE

Wapsie Valley, Fairbank 49, Lake Mills 45 | BOX SCORE

Bishop Garrigan, Algona 55, Springville 52 | BOX SCORE

West Fork, Sheffield 55, St. Mary&#;s, Remsen 53 | BOX SCORE

Class 2A Quarterfinals

North Linn, Troy Mills 56, West Sioux, Hawarden 51 | BOX SCORE

Treynor 69, Pella Christian 53 | BOX SCORE

Boyden-Hull 57, Woodward-Granger 26 | BOX SCORE

Tuesday, March 10

Class 2A Quarterfinal

Camanche 67, Monticello 52 | BOX SCORE

Class 3A Quarterfinals

Norwalk 72, Harlan 37 | BOX SCORE

Ballard 54, Center Point-Urbana 48 | BOX SCORE

Clear Creek-Amana 59, Mount Vernon 45 | BOX SCORE

Sergeant Bluff-Luton 58, Pella 43 | BOX SCORE

Class 4A Quarterfinals

Waukee 58, North Scott, Eldridge 50 | BOX SCORE

Ankeny Centennial 53, Davenport, North 51 | BOX SCORE

Wednesday, March 11

Class 4A Quarterfinals

Ankeny 68, Iowa City, West 54 | BOX SCORE

Cedar Falls 64, Dowling Catholic, W.D.M. 62 | BOX SCORE

Class 1A Semifinals

Wapsie Valley, Fairbank 57, Montezuma 42 | BOX SCORE

Bishop Garrigan, Algona 66, West Fork, Sheffield 52 | BOX SCORE

Class 2A Semifinals

Boyden-Hull 64, Camanche 49 | BOX SCORE

North Linn, Troy Mills 79, Treynor 58 | BOX SCORE

Iowa high school basketball district tournament highlights and scores (2-15-21)


Season Information

Dates & Guidelines

The following dates and guidelines are approved for the – school year.
First practice:

  • Monday, November 8
  • Jamboree date allowance: Monday, November 8 through date of first game
    One jamboree allowed per school; maximum of two 8-minute quarters
  • First game: Friday, November 19 (Member schools are not permitted to play any interscholastic basketball game from December 24 through January 1.  This does not exclude the school from practicing or using one of its scrimmages if they desire).
  • Playing dates: 21 games (12 for junior high)
  • Scrimmages: 3
  • QuikStats reporting dates: QuikStats will be checked every Tuesday during regular season
  • Regional Tournaments:
    Class 1A: February 10, 15, 18, 23
    Class 2A: February 12, 15, 18, 23
    Class 3A: February 12, 16, 19
    Class 4A and 5A: February 16, 19, 22
  • State Tournament: February 28–March 5 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines
  • Official tournament ball: Spalding TF Legacy (Women’s)

Individual and Team Participation Limitations

Each individual player has a game season limitation. A student who plays in 0–2 quarters in a day is not charged with a game.  A student who plays in quarters in a day is charged with one game against this limitation. A student who plays in 7–8 quarters in a day is charged with two games against this limitation.

Junior high students have a game season limitation. Junior high students may play in no more than six quarters a day. Participation in 1–6 quarters in a day constitutes participation in a game, and junior high students are limited to one game per day on a school day. No junior high jamborees or tournaments are permitted. A junior high team is allowed to play in two games on a non-school day. The player limit is eight quarters for that day.

Schools may participate in up to two games on a non-school day. No junior varsity teams are allowed in varsity tournaments.

Academic Eligibility

Academic eligibility resumes as a.m. on December


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2019 Iowa High School Boys Basketball Class 4A Championship

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