The Tacoma News Tribune reports today that the WIAA Representative Assembly has change the running clock rule again for the 2014 season.
* Amendment 57.7.0 alters the rules of the running-clock “mercy rule” in high school football. The clock will now run through official’s timeouts, shortening a blowout game.
The Columbian clarifies a little further on what those “official’s timeouts” mean.
- The running clock rule in football was amended so that the clock will no longer stop during an official’s timeout (i.e. for a penalty ruling or a first-down measurement).
The end result is to take even more time on the field from players.
I have been opposed to the running clock rule, as it is mandated from the WIAA, since it’s inception. A high school football player receives a finite allotment of playing minutes during his career. The top down rule artificially shortens that experience whether either team likes it or not. For years prior to the state rule, coaches could confer at halftime, or during a timeout even, to agree to move to a running clock. I have never heard an instance where a request was denied. I have, however, heard of coaches on the winning side suggesting a running clock and the coach on the losing side turning it down so as not to take away time for his players. Since the running clock rule was established in 2009, coaches and players have lost that flexibility. More playing time lost.