Bolivar R-1 officials have sent a letter to the Missouri State High School Activities Association, encouraging changes to the scorekeeping process for district basketball games after a controversial decision added 2 points to Bolivar opponent Logan-Rogersville’s score during halftime of the Class 4 District 11 final Friday, March 6.
R-1 activities director Todd Schrader told the BH-FP his understanding was the decision was made after the head scorekeeper of Friday’s game, which was held at Marshfield High School, alerted officials that his halftime total differed from the scoreboard’s.
Two points were added for Logan-Rogersville, which went on to beat Bolivar 51-48.
“The main thing I want to get out is it was a human error,” Schrader said. “When you have humans, there are times you're going to have human error. We can’t go back and change the score. That’s water under the bridge. What we can do is advocate how they can fix this in the future.”
Schrader said while both teams keep scorebooks, which chart the point totals divided by quarter and by player, national sports federation rules defer final authority to an official main scorebook. Just one person is responsible for the official book, he said, leaving room for error. MSHSAA officials are required to adhere to the main scorebook, he said.
“Another set of eyes or opinion at the table would help,” he said. “Our goal is to help fix this problem because this should not happen in high school sports. It was a very important game, and it shouldn't be in one person’s hands.”
Schrader said the district hopes to see the national federation revise its policy, in part to require an assistant scorekeeper for district level games.
Any change would first go through MSHSAA before being decided at the national level and handed back down to individual states as policy, he said.
“When we hosted districts here a few years ago, we had that extra person at the table,” he said. “That's what the state association could help us do.”
Schrader said he’d heard that several members of the Bolivar community had also contacted MSHSAA to share their concerns about the game.
It’s been an “unusual and complicated” ordeal, he said, admitting it’s unclear how those 2 points could have affected the outcome. Regardless, he said, Liberator students and staff have proven their maturity and composure.
“It’s extremely unfortunate and our hearts hurt for the kids and the fans,” he said. “We are very proud of our kids and (Bolivar) coach (Robby) Hoegh how they handled it. Our kids have class. It was demonstrated that night. Coach Hoegh did an amazing job keeping his team focused.”