VHSL Implements 30-Point Rule for Boys, Girls Basketball

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Timmy WoollumThe Virginia High School League has implemented a 30-point mercy rule for boys and girls basketball games, both in regular season and conference tournament games.

The new 30-point rule states that if one team is ahead by 30 or more points during the fourth quarter of a game, the clock will continue to run except during free throws, timeouts, injuries and the administration of technical fouls.

Also, both coaches may agree to use the 30-point rule at any time during the second half of a game. If at any time after the 30-point rule is implemented and a team’s lead becomes less than 30 points, the clock will run normally.

Coaches around the Historic Triangle were split on the issue, recognizing the pros and cons of the new rule.

Grafton Boys Basketball Coach Jeremy Jordan said he believes the rule has a place in the game, as more teams have started trying to run up the score in a quest to reach 100 points.

However, he also said the new rule could possibly limit the amount of playing time reserve players see for both teams during a lopsided game.

“Those players on your roster that make your team and practice hard every day … they’re going to see limited minutes as a result of [the running clock],” he said.

York Boys Basketball Coach Bobby Pearce, whose team suffered multiple 30-point losses last season, said he was ultimately in favor of the new rule, but conceded coaches would have a tougher time managing their players’ minutes in the second half of games.

“It’s kind of a give and take,” he said. “Trying to get your starters minutes while trying to get your subs in, the time crunch would be difficult. But I think it’s a good rule. It just makes managing your time in the second half a bit more difficult.”