After ‘overwhelming feedback,’ IHSA approves basketball shot clock for the 2026-27 season

After ‘overwhelming feedback,’ IHSA approves basketball shot clock for the 2026-27 season

The shot clock is coming — finally.

The Illinois High School Association announced Tuesday that its board approved a recommendation from the basketball advisory committee to require a 35-second shot clock in varsity boys and girls basketball games starting with the 2026-27 season.

“The IHSA has allowed the shot clock to be used in tournaments and shootouts the past two seasons, and the overwhelming feedback we have received from coaches is that it is time to embrace the shot clock in all varsity contests,” IHSA executive director Craig Anderson said in a news release. “We believe the two-season lead time will provide our schools with ample opportunity to install the shot clocks and get comfortable with them from both a coaching and game administration perspective.”

The IHSA also announced changes to the schedule for the state finals for both boys and girls basketball that will begin with the 2024-25 season.

The new schedule will feature semifinals in Class 1A, 2A and 3A on Thursday, with third-place games in those classes on Friday, along with Class 4A semifinals on Friday night.

Saturday’s schedule will include the 4A third-place game, followed by the championship games in all four classes.

The changes will allow for semifinal games to be played Thursday and Friday nights. The schedule the past three seasons drew criticism for having third-place games in primetime, often drawing small crowds.

In 2021-22, the IHSA switched from its longtime format with state games for 1A and 2A on one weekend and 3A and 4A on the next to a three-day tournament for all four classes.

“It’s been fairly unanimous in the Illinois high school basketball community that moving the state tournament to a single-weekend format has been a success,” Anderson said. “Our coaches believe this new schedule will provide an even better experience for all the student-athletes, coaches and fans.

“We look forward to seeing it play out when we celebrate America’s Original March Madness next winter.”

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