Basketball Mercy Rule Considered

From Staff Reports

The California Interscholastic Federation will discuss adopting a rule that calls for a running clock in basketball games if there is a 30-point differential in the score.

The rule could be put to a vote as soon as October and is comparable to the so-called mercy rule in baseball, in which a game is halted if a team is winning by more than 10 runs after five innings.

The initial wording of the rule calls for coaches to decide whether a running clock should be used in the third quarter if the score differential is at least 30 points at halftime. If the score differential is at least 30 points at the start of the fourth quarter, a running clock would be mandatory for the rest of the game.

“I’m sure people would basically be in agreement with some sort of mercy rule,” CIF spokesman Jim Duel said. “It’s just a matter of coming up with the wording.”


The rule will be discussed at a CIF meeting in the fall, either late October or early November. At that time, an emergency vote could take place to adopt the rule in time for basketball season. If an emergency vote does not take place, the rule would be put to a vote at a February meeting and would not take effect until the 2004-05 season if approved.

The CIF was given the option of adopting a running-clock rule after the National Federation of State High School Assns. agreed last month to allow state federations to decide individually on mercy rules for basketball.

-- Mike Bresnahan

State golf championships for boys and girls will be reinstated beginning with the 2003-04 season as a result of a recent vote by members of the CIF’s Federated Council.


The girls’ championship will be held in the fall and the boys’ in the spring, though sites, dates and times have yet to be determined.

Previous state golf championships had short runs, from 1977-81 for the girls and from 1976-81 for the boys.

In other council action:

* Approved a proposal in the sports of girls’ volleyball, cross-country and basketball that specifies that schools must compete in their enrollment classifications beginning in the 2003-04 school year. In the past, schools had been able to move to higher divisions.


* Voted down a proposal stating that every wrestler attempting to qualify for the state championships must compete through a section qualifying process in which there is a minimum of 20 participating team.

* Revised a restriction on Sunday practices to allow schools founded upon religious tenets that observe the Sabbath from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown to practice or play on Sundays.

Riverside Poly, Santa Barbara San Marcos and Huntington Beach are the favorites for the Southern Section boys’ golf team championship beginning at 7 a.m. today at The PGA of Southern California Golf Club in Calimesa.

Josh Wooding, Phil Telliard and Ian Hjulberg lead Poly, which won the Eastern Division title by 15 strokes and is ranked No. 1 by The Times. No. 2 San Marcos, the Central Coast Division champion, is the two-time defending champion. Georgia Tech-bound senior Kevin Larsen leads the way for the Royals. Fourth-ranked Huntington Beach, winner of the Southern Division, is led by Joey Benedetti, Robbie Berton and Kris Assawapimonporn.


Mission Viejo Tesoro, Redlands East Valley, Arcadia, Cerritos Gahr and No. 10 L.A. Loyola were the other divisional winners.

The top four teams advance to the CIF-SCGA finals June 3 at the SCGA Golf Course in Murrieta.

-- Peter Yoon

Ron Wood, who built one of the City Section’s most successful tennis programs at Granada Hills over the past decade, coached his last match for the Highlanders on Tuesday, a 15 1/2-14 semifinal playoff loss to Palisades. He will retire from coaching and teaching.


Wood, 64, who took over the boys’ tennis team in 1990, never led it to a City championship but guided the Highlanders to the title match six of the previous seven years, including four seasons in a row from 1999-2002, before Tuesday’s loss. He also took over the school’s girls’ program in 1994 and led that team to two City titles, victories over Carson in 1999 and 2002.

“It’s been a long haul and it’s probably one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made,” he said.

-- Lauren Peterson

Ray Reed, a Times’ All-Star basketball player from Inglewood High, has committed to Georgetown. Reed, a 6-foot-1 guard, averaged 24.4 points and 4.8 assists this season.