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The mercy rule comes up for discussion at the outset of each FB season. Ohio's results showed that about approximately 1/3 of their games hit levels where the mercy rule is necessary (a certain point differential that triggers running clock except for change of possession and scores). The have over 700 schools paying football, and there are lots of lopsided scores. Many Indiana HS FB games end in lopsided scores, but the greater percentage of occurrences are in the smaller school classes. 

My proposal:

6A and 5A schools - no mercy rule - HCs among these schools have numerous non-starting seniors. The running clock cuts down the time available to them to get these seniors in the ballgame. These programs usually have plenty of bodies (and available quarters) for the JV, frosh and C games.

4A and below - mercy rule - lead greater than or equal to 30 points anytime in H2 results in the running clock. These programs end up using available quarters and bodies Friday night, creating a problem for the JV, frosh and C games that ensue. These class levels also have a greater amount of lopsided games.

Review historical data with the naked eye in John Harrell; higher win margins, more lopsided scores, higher per-game/lower per-game offense and defense (respectively) scoring averages. On the other hand, in 6A S2 Chesterton, with its losing record, still maintained a defensive scoring average below 20 points in the regular season, not far below the other three teams who were all top ten in lowest points allowed in 6A. Then look randomly at smaller schools and specifically at Pioneer, Southridge and other small-school powerhouses. You'll see what I mean.

 

Love to hear your thoughts. BTW don't get me started on seeding (chuckle).

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Sounds feasible, I’ve had 6A coaches flat tell me no running clock, I’ve got too many seniors who never see the field. 

That being said, I don’t think the IHSAA would ever go for different plans based on class. 

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Schools that are consistently needing the mercy rule to save themselves from annihilation should consider contraction.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, HSFBFan64 said:

The mercy rule comes up for discussion at the outset of each FB season. Ohio's results showed that about approximately 1/3 of their games hit levels where the mercy rule is necessary (a certain point differential that triggers running clock except for change of possession and scores). The have over 700 schools paying football, and there are lots of lopsided scores. Many Indiana HS FB games end in lopsided scores, but the greater percentage of occurrences are in the smaller school classes. 

My proposal:

6A and 5A schools - no mercy rule - HCs among these schools have numerous non-starting seniors. The running clock cuts down the time available to them to get these seniors in the ballgame. These programs usually have plenty of bodies (and available quarters) for the JV, frosh and C games.

4A and below - mercy rule - lead greater than or equal to 30 points anytime in H2 results in the running clock. These programs end up using available quarters and bodies Friday night, creating a problem for the JV, frosh and C games that ensue. These class levels also have a greater amount of lopsided games.

Review historical data with the naked eye in John Harrell; higher win margins, more lopsided scores, higher per-game/lower per-game offense and defense (respectively) scoring averages. On the other hand, in 6A S2 Chesterton, with its losing record, still maintained a defensive scoring average below 20 points in the regular season, not far below the other three teams who were all top ten in lowest points allowed in 6A. Then look randomly at smaller schools and specifically at Pioneer, Southridge and other small-school powerhouses. You'll see what I mean.

 

Love to hear your thoughts. BTW don't get me started on seeding (chuckle).

What about if a 6A or 5A plays a 4A or lower? How would the mercy rule work in this situation? The SIAC has teams in classes from 2A to 5A. The SAC is the same way. How would that work?

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11 hours ago, DT said:

Schools that are consistently needing the mercy rule to save themselves from annihilation should consider contraction.  

You can't tell the score by quarters on Harrell's site, but the 2018 Frankfort team could have had this mercy rule invoked on 9 out of it's 10 games:  http://pastfb.homestead.com/logs/Frankfort.htm#loaded

 

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I think there needs to be a standardized mercy rule. When I was in Florida it kicked in with a 35 point lead and went back out to standard timing if the lead dropped below 35. Everyone knew how the clock was going to play out and there was no debate nor arguments about . 

I am in South Carolina now. We had a team ask for it last year when we were up 21. They got the ball after the half and scored on the first drive. Their head coach still wanted the running clock, the officials wanted the clock to go back to normal timing rules, our head coach just wanted to know what the heck was going on. 

When I was in Indiana, we played a team and won 74-6. It was an away game three hours away so we only dressed 30 players. The other team's coach refused the running clock and we ran dive every single play with our worst skill player and it still got out of hand. Without a rule you are asking a head coach to agree to what many feel like is giving up. A lot of guys won't do it because they don't want to quit on the kids or they don't want their community to feel like they gave up on the kids. 

I would be open to many different solutions, but I think there needs to be a standard that everyone understands and I think the solution takes has automatic indicators so it's not left to human judgement.  

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30 minutes ago, coachfields said:

I think there needs to be a standardized mercy rule. When I was in Florida it kicked in with a 35 point lead and went back out to standard timing if the lead dropped below 35. Everyone knew how the clock was going to play out and there was no debate nor arguments about . 

I am in South Carolina now. We had a team ask for it last year when we were up 21. They got the ball after the half and scored on the first drive. Their head coach still wanted the running clock, the officials wanted the clock to go back to normal timing rules, our head coach just wanted to know what the heck was going on. 

When I was in Indiana, we played a team and won 74-6. It was an away game three hours away so we only dressed 30 players. The other team's coach refused the running clock and we ran dive every single play with our worst skill player and it still got out of hand. Without a rule you are asking a head coach to agree to what many feel like is giving up. A lot of guys won't do it because they don't want to quit on the kids or they don't want their community to feel like they gave up on the kids. 

I would be open to many different solutions, but I think there needs to be a standard that everyone understands and I think the solution takes has automatic indicators so it's not left to human judgement.  

I’m in agreement with taking it out of being a choice. 35 points seems fair to me. If you have a coach choose you will have a number of issues. Some coaches as you said won’t want to give up on their team, or be perceived as doing such and others will refuse because they will want to play all their seniors. 

 

Just make it a set rule out of control of anyone on the field at the time. The refs will have to enforce it and cannot change it and the coaches will have to accept it.

 

 There are drawbacks from this of course but from what I have seen, the majority of the time if a team is refusing to run the clock it’s because the coach doesn’t want to give up or wave the white flag and it only makes the outcome that much more worse

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Id like to see conferences start to force non competitive schools out of their leagues.  

There are many examples of this across the state.

Extreme non competitive programs create a lot of problems for the schools who actually take football seriously.  

Cancellations

Forfeitures

Mercy rule

Bad injuries due to physical mismatches

Chronic low numbers

Chronic apathy

If schools who are plagued by chronic contraction related issues wont contract on their own, perhaps the healthy programs can take the initiative and give them a push out the door.

This would be in the mutual best interests of all involved parties.

 

 

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DT Ohio has shifted conferences due to travel, size of schools and competitiveness. But the latter of the three - when addressed to the affected/relegated school - is still “it’s not you... it’s me.” My HS alma mater is about 1/3 the size it was when I attended. They moved to a conference of schools with similar enrollment but it was really about their continued decline in athletics. On an upbeat note they’re very good academically, still. 

Indiana HS conferences have shifted a bit recently, but not as seismically as Ohio HSs in certain areas have. Maybe some conferences in Indiana need to consider realignment especially since class basketball is in place. 

One example in the NLC is Wawasee. They’re competitive in gymnastics, wrestling and softball. Otherwise??? Their enrollment has decreased and they might be better suited for the Northeast 8. 

Edited by HSFBFan64

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Being a coach I agree with the sentiment above. Coaches preach to players "never give up, fight till the end". Going to a running clock no matter how out of hand the game is makes you feel like a hypocrite. Having been a coach on both sides of a blowout I think it's a respectable way to get games over with and having a rule to enforce it would take it out of the coach's hands. Though I think there would need to be some discussion on how it's implemented.

Ohio's rule is that at any point during the game if a team gets up 30+ they go with a running clock. I saw a game where this hurt a teams chance to come back. Running clock went into effect near the beginning of the 3rd and basically ran off the entire quarter on two consecutive drives. The losing team closed the gap stopping the clock, started to come back and literally ran out of time. Would like to think if that time hadn't ran off would they have had an opportunity to tie or win.

I few years ago when Bobby Cox was pushing this I heard someone suggest no running clock in the first half. Running clock would only begin when leading by 42+ in the 3rd and 35+ in the 4th and would end if the score was brought back within those ranges which I think makes more sense.

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1 hour ago, HSFBFan64 said:

DT Ohio has shifted conferences due to travel, size of schools and competitiveness. But the latter of the three - when addressed to the affected/relegated school - is still “it’s not you... it’s me.” My HS alma mater is about 1/3 the size it was when I attended. They moved to a conference of schools with similar enrollment but it was really about their continued decline in athletics. On an upbeat note they’re very good academically, still. 

Indiana HS conferences have shifted a bit recently, but not as seismically as Ohio HSs in certain areas have. Maybe some conferences in Indiana need to consider realignment especially since class basketball is in place. 

One example in the NLC is Wawasee. They’re competitive in gymnastics, wrestling and softball. Otherwise??? Their enrollment has decreased and they might be better suited for the Northeast 8. 

I think you are referring primarily to the Ohio Capitol Conference, in Columbus.

The OCC recently realigned, with the emphasis placed on creating better competitive balance.  

This makes good sense in Ohio, which is a playoff qualification state.  Regular season results mean everything. 

With Indiana's all in format, regular season competitive balance is a non issue, so no need to realign unless specific schools choose to initiate on their own.  Hobart did this in 2003 when they left the Duneland for the Lake Athletic.  They could no longer compete at "their" desired level against the bigger schools in the conference, so they bailed.

 

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Does the running clock stop once the point differential is not met?  

If Team A is no longer leading by the required amount, Team B makes it a game, do normal rules then apply?  Or once it is met, it keeps going?

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I have done many a radio broadcast of a 75-0 score in the 3rd quarter.. then a running clock that basically is the JV and younger kids getting  handful of plays and the game being over in 10 real minutes.  I've also seen even more that were 45-6 at the half... and had to explain over and over that there are rules on 'quarters' for the young kids.. and it's hardly fair that a whole bunch of JV kids come in the game in 3rd and lose 2 quarters of their JV game, and then actually play  6-7 offensive plays and 6-7 defensive plays... and usually with groups of 5 rotating in and out every play.  I know they love it though..  But I always think it would be nice to get some of the better JV kids some rotations with the starters. letting you JV Backfield get some reps with the starting line.. vice versa.  Course we would have always done things such as getting some backups who aren't on JV in the game... getting guys reps on other positions as well.  I think 30 point lead isn't enough to kick in a mercy rule.   I've seen momentum switch on things like a special teams TD and a big run...and suddenly a 42 to 14 game whittles to a 42-35 game to the wire.   I wonder if something could be done where if the margin is XX amount the quarter's rule is suspended so you aren't punished by bringing in the JV kids earlier..and let them play in the game with some starters.. .get some experience... and then naturally come the 4th the bench gets unloaded... plus if the margin in the 4th is XX amount... then start a running clock... but by then it's almost always JV playing anyway. 

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Irregardless of what the rule states (I am sure that one would not be passed without ample research and development to avoid any loop holes), there needs to be a rule put in place to protect coaches, players, officials, and even school administrators.  This is a simple concept and all levels of football will be positively effected by its implementation. There are no arguments against it, IMHO, whether you are on the giving or receiving end.

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Don't think a 35 point rule is bad, but I also think that Indiana could solve a lot of problems if there were some exceptions made to the QUARTERS rules for younger players.  What a stupid thing to have to have your young guys wait until the 4th quarter to get in the game when your up 42-0 at the half.  Also a stupid thing to potentially get a key player hurt because they were in the game, waiting til the 4th, when a younger kid can come in.   Becoming more and more of a problem with low football numbers, not many JV teams have much depth these days. You need those kids to be able to play all 4 in the JV game because there is no one else.  

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On a related note, will this become more and more of an issue in the near future?  IMO High school sports at some schools are reaching a level of preparation and training never seen before at the prep level.  At other schools athletics are a box for Admin to check off that they offered the opportunity for kids to play and not much thought is given to them beyond scheduling the games and officials. 

Is that just the wave of the future?  Is there a way to turn back time?  How will the IHSAA address this problem as a whole?  Are we doomed to a European club sports model at some point in the next 30 years?  

Love to hear everyone's thoughts

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Some states have a 6-quarter limit. That would be a pretty simple change that could probably help. The only benefit of the no-mercy rule in Indiana is the coaches and officials can do almost anything they want when they want as long as they agree. We had 2 games this past season where the second half took exactly 25 minutes (2 12-minute quarters and a 1 minute quarter break). Most mercy rules stop the clock for at least turnovers, injuries, scores, and penalty administration. We had one game where a player was on the field injured for 5 minutes and the clock kept running. The strange one we had this year was the kicking team was lined up for a kickoff following a TD when time expired. He had plenty of time to kick it, but he chose to let the game end that way.

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I personally do like the idea of a mercey rule.  But if  they where do one here is my thought on it.  One it can not start till the 4th quarter by thay time if one team is up big they are play the2nd and 3rd string kids. Two the win team must be up by over 35 points and have the ball. Three the clock should run like the NFL this was you can spreed up the game but still have  teams  can get younger plays and seniors that do not play much into the game also once you go to that type of clock you do not go back. 

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I'm good with any Mercy Rule that takes away the need for officials to ask coaches if they want a running clock. You might as well tell me to ask the losing coach if he wants me to punch him in the $@!#%. 

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35 minutes ago, Trojanmp52 said:

I personally do like the idea of a mercey rule.  But if  they where do one here is my thought on it.  One it can not start till the 4th quarter by thay time if one team is up big they are play the2nd and 3rd string kids. Two the win team must be up by over 35 points and have the ball. Three the clock should run like the NFL this was you can spreed up the game but still have  teams  can get younger plays and seniors that do not play much into the game also once you go to that type of clock you do not go back. 

I believe every state that has a mercy rule starts it in the 3rd quarter. Some will allow it in the second quarter with a higher point differential. At most the clock only stops using an acronym of TIPS (time outs, injury, possession changes, scores). NFL clock rules would also stop for incomplete passes and runners going out of bounds. The main difference between NFL and NFHS on clock status is it doesn't stop on 1st down and it starts on the ready when a runner goes out of bounds outside of end of half situations.

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16 minutes ago, JustRules said:

I believe every state that has a mercy rule starts it in the 3rd quarter. Some will allow it in the second quarter with a higher point differential. At most the clock only stops using an acronym of TIPS (time outs, injury, possession changes, scores). NFL clock rules would also stop for incomplete passes and runners going out of bounds. The main difference between NFL and NFHS on clock status is it doesn't stop on 1st down and it starts on the ready when a runner goes out of bounds outside of end of half situations.

If I am wrong please tell me but the clock would start again once the ball is set after they go out of bounds, 

Edited by Trojanmp52

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2 hours ago, Trojanmp52 said:

If I am wrong please tell me but the clock would start again once the ball is set after they go out of bounds, 

Yes for NCAA and NFL but not for NFHS. I believe every state that has a mercy rule doesn't stop the clock when the runner goes out of bounds once they are in the mercy rule so there would be no need to start it. It never stopped. And in the NFL and NCAA you'll notice the clock starts well before the ball is even marked. They are usually winding it with 34-36 seconds left on the play clock and the ball isn't usually spotted until 28-32.

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