High school overtime football rules riddled with flaws


Two weeks ago, the Roseville High School Tigers and the Del Campo Cougars were locked in an intense overtime football game. The game lasted three hours and 19 minutes, when an average high school football game lasts a little over two hours.

In this particular case the Cougars and the Tigers were going back and forth, trading touchdowns and two point conversions or PATs.
As a fan, the first couple of possessions were electric and fun with the hype coming from the regulation excitement. That is, until you realized that this was just happening over and over again, as the later rounds of overtime got really dry and boring.
As a player, I would image that the system as it is right now would not be any better to actually play in. You could go from being super excited because your team just scored to being tied again 30 seconds later.
It is possible that the same type of situation could occur even with different rules, but because each team starts on the ten-yard line each possession, it seems almost impossible to stop the opposing team until the off chance of a turnover.
Is this ridiculously repetitive cycle really the best way in determining who the better team is and who should win the game?
The current high school rule is that if the two teams are tied at the end of regulation, the captains for each team meet with each other and the referees for a coin flip. If you win the coin flip, you get the ball first on the opponents ten yard line with four downs to score. If you score, then the other team has a chance to tie the game or take the lead. If, when the opposing team has possession of the ball, you get a stop and don’t allow them to score, you win.
What makes more sense is the NFL overtime system in which you play a regular quarter with kick offs. Then if you score a touchdown on your first possession, the game is over, and if not then the other team has a chance to either tie or win the game.
One aspect of the NFL style rules that would probably not be perfect for high school is that if the overtime lasts more than two twelve minute quarters the game ends in a tie. I imagine that this wouldn’t be very popular amongst high school football players and fans, but it could shorten the length of overtime games.
If the Sac-Joaquin Section decided to change the high school football overtime rules to those of the NFL, it would not only make the games shorter but it might also make the games more fun. Although watching teams score easily in less than four somewhat-identical plays is fascinating, I personally think it could be as simple as letting teams start on the twentyyard line. This would open up the field and allow for some longer and more interesting passing plays while also not just handing out a gimme to the kicker.