Saturday, August 18, 2007

Prep overtime needs an overhaul

High school football in North Carolina needs a new overtime rule.

This business about four downs from the 10 yard line is long outdated.

Last night, I was at the Charlotte Catholic-South Mecklenburg game that went to double overtime, and if South Meck hadn't gone for two on its second series, we might still be there this morning.

If you're not familiar, in high school OT, each team gets a possession at the 10. You keep going until one team wins after both teams go through their series of downs.

I've been to about 20 overtime games in my writing career and all but three of them were shorter than two possessions. I've seen some 70-69 games and 59-58 games and that kind of thing.

Nowadays offenses are so sophisticated that it's hard to stop a team from 10 yards on one series, particularly at the end of the game when the defense is tiring.

I'd love to see N.C. schools adopt a rule similar to college teams, where you get the ball from the 25 and get a first down from there. That would bring the kicking game into it a lot more, and give defenses a fighting chance.

Anyone with me on this?

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Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. 10 yards is way to short and is unfair to defenses and at times to the offense because there's less feild to work with

Anonymous said...

Totally agree and I think colleges should move it back the 35 so they have to earn their way into a "sure thing" field goal.

Anonymous said...

Langston, is there anybody we can email or write to try to make this change? I'm a high school ref and i wholeheartedly agree w/ you. The OT rule is bad and old.

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree. I think high school overtime is very exciting and is usually very effective.

Plus, I don't really understand your complaint. You said you've seen 20 or so OT games and all but three have been resolved inside of two possessions. That has been my experience as well. So what's your issue?

The college OT is the one that seems to drag on and on. That's where you get the 3 and 4 OT games with the 59-58 scores, not HS.

Call it like I see it said...

If you were really a HS ref, you would know who to write. Try Mark D. in Chapel Hill.

Really though, the chances of the state going against what the federation prescribes for HS OT procedures are very small.

If you want a change, write the NFHS, not the NCHSAA.

Anonymous said...

The CIF in Calif. starts the ball at the 35, allowing for first downs and putting FG's in the mix. Though the current rule is not that bad and actually promotes a quicker OT period, no one system will ever satisfy everyone. I say leave it like it is and get some numbers behind the need for a change...ie. injuries during the OT periods, etc.

Anonymous said...

Langston, I am an official here locally in Mecklenburg. A lot of us have made this request for years to Bill Freeman and asked him to take to the state. I do know for a FACT that the state can make a decision to change and does not have to follow the National rule. I am all for it. I think the games would be better and the teams would benefit. Great column. Great point.

Anonymous said...

As a longtime prep football fan, I say go for it. Let's get rid of the 10 yards. Mite make it more interestng. BTW, watched WCNC's highlight show Friday. You all KILL FFN. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Start at the 35, but NO kicks! Nothing worse than seeing an OT game decided by a field goal. It causes offenses to play conservatively and puts the defense in an unfair situation (make a stop, lose anyway).

35, no kicks = fun