Idaho Could Show Less Mercy in Prep Football
As it stands the mercy rule in Idaho High school football states if one teams leads the other by 40 points or more at halftime, a running clock will be used in the second half.
The rule, albeit well intended, has had some unintended consequences. Usually when one team has a big lead they install the backups who never get to play. By using a running clock at halftime there is little chance for any of the backups to get quality game experience.
The Idaho High School Activities Association has taken the first step to revise the rule by voting 5A and 3A teams can delay the running clock until the fourth quarter. The proposed revision, approved by a majority of 5A and 3A coaches still needs IHSSA confirmation in April but appears likely.
The 4A and 2A divisions would remain under the halftime rule because those coaches preferred to keep the rule as currently written.
Having called two "running clock:" games in the past two seasons during our game of the week on 630 The Fan I will admit there is little time for actual football, in fact it's almost as if the game should be cancelled at halftime rather than play on. There is no apparent upside with the team trailing having no chance for a comeback and only potential injury to players the result of continued play.
The vote sounds like a good compromise but I'd like to see the fourth quarter rule in effect for all divisions.