CEDAR RAPIDS — It’s just one day, in one arena.
But for the first time in Iowa high school girls' basketball history, a shot clock will tick.
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union has agreed to implement a 35-second shot clock for all games at the 16th edition of Rivalry Saturday, scheduled for Nov. 30 at Kohawk Arena on the campus of Coe College.
“They approached us, and we listened,” IGHSAU assistant director Gary Ross said. “The aspect that this is an event with different sized schools from different parts of the state, all in a collegiate venue that already has the necessary equipment ... we’re willing to try something different.”
Ross insisted that this is not a first step toward a shot clock coming to girls’ basketball on anything more than a one-time, experimental basis.
“We’re not going to change until the (Iowa High School Athletic Association does for boys’ basketball), and that’s not going to happen until (the National Federation of High Schools) dictates it,” he said.
A representative of Rivalry Saturday visited with IGHSAU executive director Jean Berger at last year’s state tournament about the possibility of a shot clock being used at the event. Ross met with Rivalry Saturday director Scot Moenck last week.
Moenck has received the OK from coaches of all participating teams.
“I’m excited to be a part of something that hasn’t been done,” said Moenck, coach at Maquoketa Valley High School. “It’s pretty cool.
“It says a lot about the people running the Girls Union, they’re willing to try things to make the girls’ game better.”
The shot clock is one of two rules modifications that will be made. Rivalry Saturday also will use a bonus situation on a quarterly basis; teams will shoot two free throws after five fouls in a quarter instead of the current high-school rule, which stands at one-and-one after seven fouls and a two-shot “double bonus” after 10.
There was discussion on teams advancing the ball to half-court after a timeout, but that modification was denied.
In a Gazette poll conducted last winter, 33 of 47 responding area coaches said they “strongly” or “moderately” supported a shot clock for high school basketball. Four were “indifferent,” and 10 “strongly” or “moderately” opposed a clock.
A schedule has not yet been determined for Rivalry Saturday, but the following are confirmed matchups (with one yet possibly to be added):
* Cedar Falls (19-2 in 2018-19) vs. Johnston (22-3)
* North Linn (21-2) vs. Van Buren (21-3)
* MFL MarMac (20-2) vs. Waukon (19-4)
* West Hancock (25-2) vs. West Branch (15-5)
* Iowa City West (17-4) vs. Gilbert (16-6)
* Montezuma (22-3) vs. East Buchanan (15-7)
* North Scott (22-3) vs. Cedar Rapids Xavier (14-9)
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