The WISCONSIN INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (WIAA) is making the following rule change in high school football games this season. From a notice the WIAA sent out:
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
(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.”
This is the proverbial step in the right direction. But in my view it’s not good enough.
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.
In my view this should not be up to the discretion of the coaches, with one or both agreeing to keep playing, prolonging the “slaughter.”
If the point differential is 35 or greater at the end of the first quarter the running clock should be implemented automatically.