Missing in Action: The Shot Clock

Watching the exciting boys’ basketball game Friday (9 October 2015) between St George’s and St John’s Colleges made it apparent that it’s time for us to literally up our game.  There was a second casualty beyond the losing Rams side, and that was the shot clock or rather lack of it.

The shot clock was introduced to basketball in 1954, and there is no reason why 60 years later, we are still not employing an actual and accurate shot clock in high school basketball in Zimbabwe.

A shot clock measures the time between when a team gets possession of the ball and attempts a basket, and depending on the level of play can be between 24 and 35 seconds.  A shot clock prevents stalling when a team has possession, quickens the pace of a game and produces higher scoring matches.

High school basketball in Zimbabwe could take a leaf from the Zimbabwean adult basketball club leagues, who use both electronic shot clocks and mobile electronic score boards.  While the referee was hand gesturing his own estimated shot clock at St George’s Friday afternoon, across town at Chisipite, a proper electronic shot clock was in use for water polo at the Crusader Shield Tournament.

Sometimes it is a seemingly small improvement that can bring us to another level of sport; it only takes a bit of initiative to up our game.