When the time changes from Daylight Savings time, the weather begins to cool, and darkness descends about 5:30 p.m. it’s time for basketball season.

Though area schools involved with football playoffs may have delayed boys teams play, most school have begun their seasons.

There’s a new wrinkle to the game this year. It’s been discussed for a while, but this season we will begin to see in certain games the use of the shot clock.

Georgia High School Association has approved the use of a 35 second shot clock. Operators are required to have passed certification and must be aware of when to start and reset the shot clock.

Here are the guidelines.

Start the shot clock when:

1. A team gains initial possession after the jump ball to start the game.

2. A player in bounds legally touches or is touched by the ball during a throw-in.

3. Team control is established following a missed try for a goal, or a missed free throw attempt.

Reset the shot clock to 35 seconds when:

1. After a successful field goal or fine free throw attempt when the opponent’s throw-in is legally touched in bounds.

2. After every change of possession.

3. After an inadvertent whistle while there is no player or team control.

4. After a common foul by the defense in the backcourt when not in the bonus free throw situation.

Reset the shot clock to 25 seconds when:

1. There is a foul or violation by the defense under 25 seconds.

2. There is a technical foul on the defense under 25 seconds.

3. There is a lodged ball and the arrow favors the offense.

Do not reset the shot clock when:

1. A charged time out is granted.

2. A held ball occurs and it favors the offense.

3. A double foul situation and the offensive team retails possession of the ball.

4. The ball is legally deflected out of bounds by the defense.

As you can see, the shot clock operator will need to be both alert and patient. Shot clock errors will complicate the game.

It’s a lot to consider, but the shot clock should result in more offense and hopefully more scoring.

Good luck to your team. May the calls go your way, and we’ll see you in the gym.

Stan Pethel is an official with the Northwest Georgia Basketball Officials Association

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