ASHWAUBENON - Blowout basketball games will now end sooner; that is if the margin is 40 points.
The WIAA Board of Control approved a "mercy" rule Thursday that will result in a running clock if the margin of a basketball game is 40 points entering the fourth quarter. This includes the postseason.
Also, if the margin dips below 40 points during the fourth quarter the clock will continue to run.
Basketball is joining other sports with "mercy" rules.
Football also has a "mercy" rule, but it's 35 points and the running clock can start as early as the third quarter. However, if the lead falls below 35 points at any time in football the clock stops.
Baseball and softball have a "mercy" rule set at 10 runs and those games can end as soon as the fifth inning, while soccer has a 10-goal rule where a game can end with 20 minutes to play of the margin is 10 goals.
Other approved recommendations:
- Another approved basketball recommendation mandates three-person officiating crews for all postseason games beginning in 2014. Three-person crews have been assigned to the regional finals since 2008, at the sectional level since 2007 and at the state tournament since 2006.
- Division 1 schools will no longer be allowed to host sectional basketball semifinals or finals if they advance to play in those games, essentially guaranteeing a neutral site.
- The WIAA approved a maximum game limit for hockey to 24 beginning in 2013-14. The previous language stated a maximum of 20 games with allowance for two designated multi-game contests.
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