Big change in high school football rules this season

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The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) has distributed the following to football officials:  

2017 NATIONAL FEDERATION

FOOTBALL RULES BOOK

(For Reference Purposes)

PLEASE CLIP AND PLACE ON THE INSIDE

COVER OF YOUR RULES BOOK 

WISCONSIN ADAPTATIONS TO NFHS

The following rule regarding the use of running time must be used: (1) After the first quarter, when the score differential reaches 35 points or more, coaches may mutually agree to implement the use of the running clock. (2) After the first half any time the score differential reaches 35 points or more, beginning with the ensuing kickoff the following changes, and only these changes, will be made regarding rules determining when the clock will and will not be stopped.

The clock will run continuously except for the following situations when it will be stopped:

(a) Timeouts charged to a team.

(b) After a score.

(c) Intermission between 3rd and 4th quarters.

(d) Extended injury time outs.

(e) Any time officials determine it is necessary for safety reasons.

Note: (a) Normal clock operating procedures resume when a team scores to make the differential less than 35 points in the third quarter. The running clock will be maintained in the fourth quarter even if the score differential goes below 35 points. (b) The use of this rule does not preclude the use of Rule 3-1-3 which reads: “A period or periods may be shortened in any emergency by agreement of the opposing coaches and the referee. By mutual agreement of the opposing coaches and the referee any remaining periods may be shortened at any time or the game may be terminated.”

WISCONSIN INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Because I can’t stand teams that intentionally try to run up the score on hapless opponents I applaud this rule change to provide an opportunity to go to a running clock sooner.

However, it doesn’t quite go far enough in my view.

Read this provision again.

(1) After the first quarter, when the score differential reaches 35 points or more, coaches may mutually agree to implement the use of the running clock.

Yes, the point differential can and does reach 35 or more in the first quarter.

But why do I envision coaches agreeing to still play with a normal clock when an obvious rout is on.

I would prefer that anytime the point differential becomes 35 or more,  even in the first quarter, that the game automatically goes to a running clock. There is no discussion with or decision by coaches. If the lead gets under 35 before halftime you can return to the normal timing rules.

Still, I think the new set-up is a good one.

One thought on “Big change in high school football rules this season

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (08/14/17) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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