Big-time basketball blowouts will end a lot quicker this season since the City League instituted a running clock in the fourth quarter of games with a 30-point margin.
And it might not be a bad thing. A team pummeling another team has little value for the players or fans.
But the rule, which keeps the clock running except during injuries and timeouts, gets different reactions from coaches.
The City League used the rule last season, on a case-by-case basis, including both Heights-West girls games.
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"It was something we felt would be a good thing to do for the respective schools," City League athletic director Bill Faflick said."... There are pros and cons. You never want to throw the towel in and never want to give up. But sometimes there's time to move on and not much good can come out of lopsided games."
This season the Kansas State High School Activities Association started allowing individual leagues to use it. The Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail and Central Plains leagues do not use the rule.
The last time such a rule was used occurred during the 1999-2000 season. That was an experiment by the National Federation of State High School Associations, and it allowed for a running clock in the second half of games with a 30-point margin.
The KSHSAA has used the fourth-quarter, 30-point rule the past two seasons in sub-state games and has had few complaints.
"We had several (sub-state) games that were 80 points or more, and the schools said, 'This is ridiculous, we've got to do something different,' " said Fran Martin, assistant executive director for the KSHSAA.
Heights girls coach Kip Pulliam, whose team is 2-0 and ranked first overall, isn't a proponent of the rule.
West girls fourth-year coach Sandy Nixon, who is 1-63, is a supporter.
These programs are at vastly different levels with disparate expectations.
For Pulliam, his focus is readying his team to play for the Class 6A title. As much as he'd like to play his starters deep into games, he doesn't in blowouts. But he'd like to have more time to play young players, including junior varsity players.
With a running clock, though, a foul and a free throw can take off more than a minute.
"You have to play your kids to where they can play in a full game," Pulliam said. "It's kind of hard to not play them as much as you'd like to. I'd like to see (the margin) be 40 or 50 points, when it's really out of control."
But for the West girls, it's a good rule.
"For the most part, it's a good thing for us because of our situation," Nixon said. "When we're playing a Wichita Heights and they're just stomping us into the ground, the running clock in the fourth quarter is nice because it gets things done with (as little) humiliation as possible."
And while the Heights girls have two Division I signees — with the possibility of two more — have their sights on winning the 6A title, West's expectations are the polar opposite.
"We feel good when we have kids passing without Fs," Nixon said. "That's something we're teaching. It's a life lesson. It's a lesson to be there every day in practice.
"When they instituted that rule, they probably said it was with West in mind. But I think our kids fight hard. They don't get to go to camps, have the money to go to camps and clinics and get on traveling teams. If you look at it in that perspective, they're fighters."