Legislative Council notebook: Basketball mercy rule passes for 2017-18 season

Legislative Council meeting

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — The CHSAA Legislative Council approved the addition of a mercy rule for basketball at Thursday's bi-annual meeting.

After discussion over the implementation, the basketball committee report passed with 59 Council members voting for it with 11 voting against.

The new sportsmanship rule says that if a team builds a 35-point after the third quarter, the clock will begin running, only to stop for timeouts, injuries and free throws.

The rule will apply to all levels.

"Unfortunately the membership has had to implement a sportsmanship rule for its games," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann, who oversees basketball. "There were a variety of reasons that led to this and the basketball committee felt the rule proposed can address these issues but strongly encourages schools to take additional steps to ensure that their basketball coaches and teams maintain a high level of respect for their opponents."

Like the 40-point mercy rule in football, once the 35-point margin is reached, the sportsmanship rule will take effect until the game is over. Even if the losing team pulls within the margin, the clock will continue to run.

The rationale behind the rule was to eliminate the humiliation factor in some regular season contests. It will also apply to postseason games.

When the basketball committee met to discuss the rule in early-February — with 16 days remaining in the regular season — 17.2 percent of girls games (841 of 4,892 total) and 12.8 percent of boys boys games (633 of 4,952) had ended with margins of 35 points or more.

Implementation of the rule will begin with the 2017-18 season.

Notables

Massey sisters

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

  • The Massey sisters from Frederick were recognized as winners of the NFHS Section VI Spirit of Sport Award.
  • A new bylaw that strengthens when schools have to officially form a co-op was passed. Further details are available here.
  • A proposal which penalizes violations of game contracts passed. There will now be a fine of $500 and probation for a first offense; $1,000 and restriction for second. Violations after that result in a mandatory meeting with the CHSAA office, and a penalty to be determined. All fines go to offended school.
  • New equipment dates for football were approved.
  • The swimming and diving report changed qualifying times in an effort to create four to five heats in each event.
  • Spirit will split the 4A/5A co-ed cheer into separate divisions.
  • Wrestling chair Ernie Derrera said pilot of girls wrestling will continue, and he wants to try and have girls tourneys each weekend.
  • Hockey's report passed, meaning Chaparral and Woodland Park will officially join as new teams in the 2017-18 season.

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