At the recent annual meetings for OFSAA, representatives from schools across Ontario met to determine a number of directions for high school sports.
One change affecting all schools is the elimination of the “AAAA” designation of schools. From 2002-2015 there has been four levels of provincial high school competition but OFSAA has elected to return to A, AA, and AAA competition.
On the topic of basketball, the long-awaited FIBA motion was passed, paving the way for significant change for high school basketball in the province.
As a result, provincial high school championships in Ontario will now transition from Federation (NFHS) rules to FIBA playing regulations in September 2016 for both girls’ and boys’ basketball with the following exceptions:
– A 35 second shot clock will be used. Full reset on fouls and shots off the rim
– Federation lines will be used even when FIBA lines are available
– Federation timeout procedure, and game length will be used including overtime
– No dunking in the warm-up will be permitted
Just because OFSAA is incorporating shot clocks to provincial championships does not mean it will be coming to a high school near you immediately.
Cost of buying shot clocks and finding and training volunteers to run them remain barriers schools will have to hurdle to prepare their teams for competition at the highest level of school sports.
OFSAA has no jurisdiction over how its member associations (like TDSSAA, TDCAA, ROPSSAA, YRAA, SWOSSAA, NCSSAA, etc.) govern their league play. However, with association champions advancing to OFSAA where shot clocks and FIBA rules will be used, schools ought to begin the transition to prepare their champions for OFSAA.
It’s a game-changer for sure. One that will alter the landscape of high school hoops in Ontario though there’s still the 2015-16 season to go before the changes come into effect.
But for those who have been pining for the update for years, it’s a welcome addition that will improve pace, increase participation through substitutions, eliminate stalling at the ends of games, prepare players for the next level, and make games that much more exciting.