Basketball is the only high school team sport in the state without a mercy rule, but the Colorado High School Activities Association Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on adopting one at its …
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Basketball is the only high school team sport in the state without a mercy rule, but the Colorado High School Activities Association Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on adopting one at its Oct. 5 meeting.
The proposed rule for boys and girls basketball would start a running clock if a team leads by 40 points or more at the end of the third quarter. The clock would stop only for timeouts or injuries.
If the board adopts the mercy rule, it would be enforced for the 2016-17 season.
Administrators and coaches are lining up on both sides. Those in favor of implementing the rule argue it could spare the losing team the humiliation of a major blowout. Those against the rule contend it takes time away from players who might not see action in a close game.
"I'm in favor of it," said Mark Duitsman, Lutheran girls basketball coach and athletic director. "I have been on both sides of a lopsided score and I see teachable moments in both circumstances, but I don't see the rule impacting those lessons."
Many coaches don't like the proposed rule change.
"I'm not in favor of changes," ThunderRidge boys coach Joe Ortiz said. "When we get up a lot on an opponent, we sub out. I hate giving up the playing time for our subs that don't get very much playing time."
Cherry Creek girls coach Chris Curneen agrees.
"Every minute of court time is valuable," he said. "Once I get up by a comfortable margin, I usually use the extra minutes to get some of my younger players some valuable playing time."
Highlands Ranch girls coach Caryn Jarocki brings up another point against the mercy rule.
"Teams can work on things regardless of the score and regardless of if they are winning or losing," she said. "On a lesser note, the mercy rule affects teams in regard to the record books. All records have been derived from teams playing full games for a full season, not shortened ones. Those teams/players are essentially being penalized with shortened games."
Blue night scheduled
It is gratifying when differences and rivalries are put aside in a show of support for a person or issue.
Legacy received well wishes and support from schools in the state and outside of Colorado after the Sept. 11 crash that killed bus driver Kari Chopper.
And Chaparral plays Legend Sept. 22 at EchoPark Automotive Stadium in Parker with Wolverines fans wearing navy blue and Titans fans donning royal blue to honor American military personnel. Any service member in uniform will be admitted free and will help crown Chaparral homecoming royalty at halftime.
There will also be donation jars around the stadium to raise money to support Detective Dan Brite and his family. Brite was shot by a suspect Sept. 2 and has been hospitalized since then.
Local team wins hockey tourney
Members of the Castle View High School hockey team combined with the Arapahoe Midget Major AA travel team to form the Castle View/Arapahoe Midget Major club, which won the Regis Twisted Wrister tournament on Sept. 17.
The Castle View/Arapahoe team, made up of players 18 and under, was coached by Tim Walsh and notched a 2-1 title victory over Westminster Hyland Hills.
Valor softball to face tests
Thomas Jefferson and Valor Christian, two undefeated softball teams, played Sept. 17 in Highlands Ranch.
Valor improved to 11-0 with another mercy-rule win and downed the Spartans (12-1) in a 12-2 non-league victory.
In 11 games, the Eagles have outscored opponents 122-5 and coach Dave Atencio isn't concerned that Valor hasn't been tested yet.
With Jeffco 4A league play starting, the Eagles play Wheat Ridge Sept. 22 and the Farmers were the only team to beat state champion Valor last season.
"Our kids continue to play with poise and with determination," Atencio said. "We start league play against rival Wheat Ridge. They are a formidable program and will give us all we can handle. D'Evelyn and Mullen will also be tough for us."
Nance goes out on top
Coach Ralph Nance, who helped Faith Christian win the Class 3A baseball championship last spring, announced his retirement as baseball coach but will remain as the Eagles' football coach.
Jim Polson was hired to replace Nance as baseball coach. Polson has coached as an assistant at Pomona, Ralston Valley, Fairview and Mountain Range.
Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 303-566-4083.
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