NYSPHSAA votes down NFHS rules

The idea of high school girls basketball games being played without a shot clock was on the table for a number of years. Now, it has been put to bed for the foreseeable future.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association voted against the motion to abide by the National Federation of State High School Associations rules by a count of 12-10 in last week's quarterly executive committee meeting in Saratoga Springs. With the vote, basketball and volleyball will now continue to use the NCAA rulebook, softball will follow USA Softball rules and gymnastics will stick to the NYSPHSAA technical handbook.

NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said he looks forward to moving on from the NFHS vote, which would have eliminated the shot clock in girls basketball. This is the third time the change was proposed in the last decade.

"It was a philosophical issue," Zayas said. "The question was do we play by the NCAA rules, that are made for adults, like basketball and volleyball play by, or do we play by the NFHS rules, which are made for the kids? My hope is that we are making this decision with the intent that we're preparing kids for the next level of life, not just the next level of competition. Now we can move on to other topics of concern, aside from this one."

New York State remains the only state in the country that plays by the NCAA rules in both basketball and volleyball.

While the NFHS vote was the headliner, there was plenty more on the docket.

Some of the approved proposals included revising the amount allotted money in the NYSPHSAA Amateur Rule from $250 to $500, immediately implementing a baseball post-season pitch count summary form, and the modification of the fall, winter and spring sports seasons' lengths.

Zayas felt that the season length proposal, beginning in 2020-21, was the ruling that may leave the biggest impression.

"We will be condensing all seasons by a week, with the exception of the football season, which will have its state championship moved back to the weekend after Thanksgiving," Zayas said. "The important thing here (with this rule) is that it was a representative committee for all 11 sections, so they all had a say in making this decision."

Zayas also stressed how the productivity of the meetings has increased over the last few years. He spoke glowingly of how much the NYSPHSAA has been able to accomplish as a result.

"We have four meetings per year, so I've been to 27 meetings already (in my tenure)," he said. "(The meetings) are becoming more efficient, which gives more time for all of the sections to discuss proposals. The great thing about quarterly meetings is it's a time for the membership to determine rules and regulations that our association will abide by. It's interesting to see how the state's diversity plays into the rules and proposals."

The NYSPHSAA's next gathering will be the central committee meeting July 30-Aug. 1 at Turning Stone Resort in Verona.