IHSAA Approves Football Mercy Rule

There will be less suffering for players, coaches and fans during blowouts starting with the 2019-20 season.

Photo by Sandy Mahoney.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana high school football teams will have a few new rules to abide by this fall.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association approved several new rules on Monday, including a new football mercy rule.

The rule, which goes into effect this fall, was a joint effort with the Indiana Football Coaches Association to expedite the conclusion of football contests when a certain point differential is reached.

When a team goes up by 35 points in the second half, the game clock will convert to a running clock with the exception of timeouts, scores or injuries. Once implemented, the clock may not revert back to a standard timing regardless of score and coaches will not have the ability to override the mercy rule clock

The IHSAA also approved a modification to Tournament Success Factor. The modification lowers the number of points needed (from 3 points to 2 points) by a school already playing in a higher classification to continue playing in that same class for another two years.

The rule up to this point had required three points (two sectional titles and a regional title) to continue in that class.

Another amendment would have fans ejected from a game suspended from attending the school’s next home game. A second ejection would result in a two-game suspension.

For more information on rule changes for the 2019-2020 school year, visit www.ihsaa.org.

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