Boom! Check it! Starting this season, if any football game has a margin of 35 points or higher after halftime, the coaches and referees can agree to go to a running clock. But they must agree to this option BEFORE the start of the game. (They can’t wait and see the score is 42-0 at half, then decide to do it.)

If ENTERING the fourth quarter, or at any point in the fourth quarter, there is a lead of 35 points or more, the game will MANDATORILY go to a running clock and that WILL NOT change no matter what the score becomes. So, if Team A is leading Team B 35-0 and Team B score to make it 35-7, the clock will keep running.

Aram’s take: I like it! This will effectively end the angry conversation I’ve had with myself (and many reporters have had with themselves) when a game gets out of reach and the clock can’t move quick enough … and I’m wondering “How did I pick this dud?” or … “How did Fred convince me to cover this dud?”

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    Wasn.t there an sc-notre dame game years ago when the trojans reversed a like score and won going away in the second half. And, and sc-wisconsin rose bowl game that ended up sort of the same? Don’t get me wrong I like it too. aw7tz8

  • Joe Amat

    Parts of this rule are good… I just disagree with the ” WILL NOT change no matter what the score becomes” part. I think once it’s under 16 (two scores) it should revert back to stopped clock. At two scores – anything can happen


  • Joe Amat,

    Cute thought. And this rule could someday somehow eliminate the chance of a miracle comeback for the ages.

    However, prep football does need something to put certain games out of their misery. And I for one am not complaining.

  • D-Mo

    Sounds like a good rule for JAAF, not high school. Maybe that’s where they got it. There are a lot of players that get some playing time, on both sides of the field, during these “mercy” games. And besides, it’s Friday night. Nobody’s in a hurry to get home, are they?

  • shfan

    I like this rule but the only thing that I don’t like about it is that the clock will continue to run no matter what the score is. Once the lead is below 35 the running of the clock should stop. For once, I agree with someone from Bishop Amat. Haha. A team can have a terrible first half and have no way of coming back in the second half.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    For all of those fearing the end of the miracle comeback. Remember the KEY is if BOTH coaches and the officials AGREE to go with the running clock. Down 35-0 after 1 quarter or in the 1st, too early. No. If it becomes 50+ lead anytime in the first half, then god please YES!

    But if it’s 35-42 points at halftime, and the losing coach knows his team just came out flat and has adjustments in mind. And truly feels his team can play with the other team, he can hold off on the mercy rule. I like the rule, it will remove the “ran up the score” and “poor sportsmanship” and the “no class” arguments that usualy take place after a lopsided victory.

  • Make sure you guys are reading it carefully.

    If a team is down 35 or more at any point in the first through three quarters, then the coaches and refs can agree to running clock. It’s only mandatory if it’s in the fourth quarter. And once it starts ticking in the fourth, it doesn’t stop.

  • Dan

    If it’s the same USC/Notre Dame game I’m thinking of, I believe the score was either 28 or 24 to 0 Notre Dame at halftime, then Anthony Davis took the second half kickoff all the way to the house, USC never looked back from there, USC ended up winning 55 to 28 or close to that.

  • Colt74

    It’s a bad rule.
    Like brought up earlier hurts all chances of a comeback.
    If the game is boring to you…leave. I bet it’s not boring to all the players.
    It’s just going to teach..down 35…give up now.
    What happens if you are getting beat because one team has stud all american..but he gets hurt? I’ve seen teams come back.
    Limits time for 2nd and 3rd team to get playing time..unless like I said earlier the down team just gives up.
    Not ONE good thing about this rule. Only helps the fans that want to make it home in time to catch the last half of dancing with the stars……

    I don’t believe in the 10 run rule also…….

  • Ben Franklin

    “the game will MANDATORILY go to a running clock and that WILL NOT change no matter what the score becomes”

    Only flaw with this rule is the wording in that sentence here your example —- Team A is up 35-0 going into the forth quarter Team B SOMEHOW scores 36 straight points with two minutes left. according to that quote the clock would still be running even though team A would now be losing by 1…..

  • Mike the Clone


    This means the Keppel games that start at 7:00, will end at 8:00. (A little Mark Keppel humor there)

    And no Baseline Glendora mercy jokes either you haters.

    Not digging this at all!If your taking a beating suck it up and deal with it,learn from it. Otherwise stay home wrap yourself in bubblewrap and play jacks.

    There’s no mercy rule in life!



  • New York

    Proper scheduling would eliminate the need for this Markham rule.

  • Joe Amat

    Speaking of our friend Don Markham, the Moore League and Pac5 got a little more interesting today.

    Markham accepted the head football job at Compton to replace my good friend Jimmy Nolan (*cough*cough*) who only lasted one year at the helm. Markham wasn’t assured a teaching position, so he applied to return to Colton (where he teaches) to replace the walk-on coach there.

    He was finally given a teaching job at Compton so he will take over a team with some athletes – but not the depth of a Poly or Lakewood. We know, because of his style, he hates large rosters anyway (one of the reasons for his departure at Amat).

    Couple that with my other good friend Thad McNeal’s departure at Lakewood and things could shuffle in the Moore League and add another player to the mix.

  • david rivera

    bob burt was very impressive i heard at wilson meeting today. this is a no nonsense coach who gets respect

  • david rivera

    wilson has the coaches now, if only they can draw a few more athletes to wilson they would dominate the valley vista in 2 years. this coach is bigtime in a small time school. a great speaker as well

  • football fan

    This new rule is going to help south hills football team. Maybe cif will let the school that’s down play with 12 players to

  • Nate

    Joe Amat,
    I believe Markham was just named HC at Colton…is not going to coach at Compton after all.

  • Joe Amat


    Nope. Took the Compton job. The took the Colton job. Then Compton offered him a teaching job. Then he reversed field and is going to Compton – unless he’s flipped again.

  • Joe Amat

    Just so you’re sure how it all went down Nate,
    Anything further?
    Like Charles Barkley’s book:
    “I might be worng – but I doubt it!”

  • Joe
    do you remember a Bruce Nichols from amat ?

  • Joe Amat

    I do. Science teacher? Think he had a beard back then? Students liked him if I recall.

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