Board of Directors requests survey on creating mercy rule in basketball

(Ryan Casey/

(Ryan Casey/

AURORA — CHSAA's Board of Directors has begun to look into the creation of a mercy rule in boys and girls basketball.

The Board met at the CHSAA office on Wednesday, and the issue of the mercy rule was raised by a few members. After some discussion, the Board felt it was necessary to further address the topic because of the growing concern surrounding the number of large discrepancies in scores this season, as well as recent seasons.

Ultimately, the Board called for a survey of member schools to judge whether or not there would even be interest in its creation. That survey will be sent out to all schools within a few weeks.

Included in the survey will be the general question: Would you support the creation of a mercy school in basketball? But, beyond that, it will also seek answers to specifics about any potential mercy rule. For example: Should the mercy rule begin at 30 points, 40 points, or some other margin? Should it apply all game, or only beginning in the second half, or even in the fourth quarter?

It is likely that any mercy rule would simply involve a running clock which only stops at certain moments in the game, such as foul shots, timeouts, and the like. A number of leagues have implemented a similar rule at subvarsity contests.

Other sports, such as football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey and softball have mercy rules, as per NFHS rules. Basketball does not have a mercy rule according NFHS rules, but Colorado could create one as a state adoption.

If feedback from the survey indicates that schools would be in favor of the creation of a mercy rule for basketball, the Board would likely take a next step at its meeting in April.