The Ohio High School Athletic Association has voted to adopt the National Federation of State High Schools Association "mercy rule" for the 2014 season, meaning that any time there is a 30 point differential in the second half, a running clock will be implemented.
If the team closes the margin to within 30 points, the clock will revert back to normal timing. It's a rule that seems like most states have adopted in one form or another (some with a 50 point cap, others with 36 or 42 point caps), but there are a number of coaches who aren't in favor of the new changes.
From my understanding, a lot of coaches feel that the running clock prevents some of their players from getting much deserved playing time. For the guys who bleed and sweat just like the starters throughout the week of practice, blowouts may be their only chance to see the field, and having a running clock takes some serious snaps away from them.
Other coaches feel like the current model coaching staffs or referee's regulate things was working quite well and prevented the game from getting out of hand.
One coach even noted in the Newark Advocate that the running clock is bad for boosters and concessions, which is a rather interesting off-the-field take on the whole situation that certainly has some merit
Proponents of the new rule have to feel a sense of relief that they no longer have to approach the opposing sideline and ask a coaching colleague the always awkward "How do you feel about letting the clock run?" question.
A handful of our Twitter followers gave us their thoughts on the issue and their opinions varied. Below those, I've shared my thoughts.
As both a coach and player, I've been on both sides of this one. In my opinion, regardless of what side of the blowout you're on, and how many players you have on the roster, you eventually reach a point where you want to do two things.
Number one, you want to get the players that have worked their tail off all week in practice some snaps. To me, the number of snaps is rather insignificant, those players aren't counting their snaps, they just want to be on the field wearing the school colors in front of their parents and peers using the skills and techniques their coaches have drilled all year. Number two, you eventually reach a point where enough is enough and you just want to pack things up, make sure your players keep the game in perspective with everything else in life, and just make sure everyone gets home safely.