INDIANAPOLIS – In its monthly gathering following the annual Board of Directors meeting this morning in Indianapolis, the IHSAA Executive Committee unanimously approved 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. With Monday’s vote, when the point differential reaches 35 points in the second half, the game clock will convert to a running clock with the exception of timeouts, scores, and/or injuries. Once implemented, the clock may not revert back to standard timing regardless of the score and coaches will not have the ability to override the implementation of the mercy rule. The 40 second play clock will remain in effect throughout the contest.
The Board of Directors approved 18 rules proposals, three failed to receive support, and two were tabled for
further study during its annual review of the By‐Laws and Articles of Incorporation.
The group approved by an 18‐1 vote a modification to Rule 2.5, also known as the Tournament Success Factor. The result 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. Schools that win a regional championship in a single season or a sectional championship in back‐to‐back seasons would remain in that same higher class. The rule up to this point had required three points (two sectional titles and a regional title) to continue in that class.
Seven amendments were formally ratified having been approved as temporary regulations since last year’s Board meeting. Most notably among those was the conduct of fans which was added to the same sportsmanship guidelines applicable to the conduct of contestants, coaches, etc. When a fan is ejected from a contest, he/she, too, will be suspended – in their case from attending the school’s next home contest. A second ejection will result in suspension from the next two home contests. Also, the addition of Unified Flag Football as a sponsored sport, its playing rules and season contest information were officially affirmed.