CERSOSIMO: Six-quarter rule should be refined for Class BDoes the six-quarter rule in high school basketball counteract its purpose at the Class B level?
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
Does the six-quarter rule in high school basketball counteract its purpose at the Class B level?
In an article published in Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Republic, many basketball coaches agreed with the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s rule, which essentially keeps players from participating in more than six quarters of basketball in one night.
The coaches agreed it protected their players from spending too much time on the court.
But the rule was implemented to regulate participation levels, giving all players more equal amounts of playing time, according to SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director John Krogstrand.
If this is true, the amount of quarters a player from a smaller school is allowed to play should be reconsidered. That’s because schools that participate at the Class B level have much lower enrollments in sports than schools at the Class AA and Class A levels.
For example, the Mitchell Christian boys’ basketball team, which has two varsity players sitting out due to knee injuries, played its starting five players throughout the entirety of the game against Sunshine Bible Academy Monday. The game’s box score showed five players getting all of the court time for the Eagles.
And for Bridgewater-Emery, seven of the 16 girls’ basketball players are freshmen or younger.
When there aren’t enough upperclassmen to fill both a varsity and junior varsity team, the rule plays a factor because those younger players qualify and are sometimes expected to play in up to four games in one day.
Unlike Class AA and A basketball teams, some Class B teams struggle fielding full teams.
Menno girls’ basketball coach Ken Bruckner said several junior varsity games have been canceled this season because the Wolves’ opponents didn’t have enough players.
In several interviews with area basketball coaches, many said they are OK with the rule because it’s been around “forever” and they can’t picture it any other way. The rule was implemented in the late 1970s and hasn’t changed since.
But with the issues that many of the Class B programs are having with participation, maybe the rule could get refined. Although players would overlap in more games than they are allowed to play now, those “C” and junior varsity games would be able to always be played.
When a game is scheduled, coaches and teams expect to play, so there’s always a disappointment when a game is called off because athletes can’t participate in more than six quarters.
The six-quarter rule has been around for more than 30 years, so the possibility of the activities association changing it now is unlikely, but there definitely should be consideration.