Brad's Blog 5/21 - 05/21/14
Its a Friday night on the gridiron, and its a blowout. 45-0, 52-7 and more often than not, its one team that has a legacy of dominance, and the other on its third coach in five years.Blowouts in high school football are as common as ever, and recently the OHSAA jumped on the road other states like Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Illinois took years ago: Mercy rule!
Starting in August, here's how it works. If a team leads by 30 points in the second half of a game, the referees will employ a running clock. The clock wont stop even if a player goes out of bounds, or possession changes. It wont stop for a first down. It only stops for called time outs or delays for player injury. If the team down 30 gets back to within that margin, the clock will revert to normal rules.
Mercy takes the burden off of both coaching staffs. High school football coaches are teachers. They are in the classrooms with their kids and in restaurants next to parents. It's tough for coach of an elite team to know when to call off the dogs on a lesser team. On the other end, the coach of a losing squad never wants to been embarrassed. Your team goes through the summer months and two-a-days like every other team in the state. The idea of a 70 point loss can be demoralizing. Most coaches will tell you kids are much more resilient than coaches, or parents.Not to mention, the effort level in a blowout tends to lead to more injuries.
That's why the OHSAA did this.It takes a few questions off the table. It saves some pride and maybe a few less doctor bills in the process. High school athletic associations across the country preach sportsmanship among their member schools. The mercy rule is just a gentle nudge in that direction.
And by the way, well still have nasty blowouts.