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WIAA looking a football "mercy rule" modification

April 1, 2012

The “mercy rule,” long a staple of Class 1B football in the state may be changed for next season.
Under the current rule, if a team falls behind by 40 or more points anytime in the second half, the game ends. In the other classifications, a running clock is used when a team falls behind by 40 or more points.
Under a proposed Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rule amendment, which must be adopted by the 55-member Representative Assembly, the Class 1B schools will also use the running clock rule.
The amendment was proposed by a group of small high schools in the state, including Northport, Inchelium and Wellpinit.
Proponents of the rule change note that many of the smaller schools travel long distances to play each other and an abrupt end of the game leaves many players and coaches short-changed.
Cheerleaders, band members and drill teams also lose chances to perform with a sudden end of the game.
In addition to the players, a quick end of the game also has adverse impacts on concessions, a source of funds for many school groups.
A running clock option would also give younger players a chance to play.
Finally, supporters of the change note that the quick scoring nature of Class 1B football makes it possible to erase a 40-point deficit in a quick manner.

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