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Tuesday, December 7, 2021
ArlingtonCommentary: Are halftimes too long?

Commentary: Are halftimes too long?

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If there was anything good that came from COVID regarding high-school sports, it was those much shorter halftimes of football games during the condensed and postponed 2020 season.

The breaks during those contests were limited to 10 minutes, instead of the normal way-too-long 15 or 20. Instead of going inside the schools, teams met at separate ends of the field. When 10 minutes elapsed, the play continued.

Unfortunately this fall, high-school football halftimes are back to the usual lenglty status. Plus, very often after the 15 or 20 minutes tick off, another three minutes are added so players can have a proper amount of time to warm up. Most officiating staffs take few measures to speed up any of the process. So the entire halftime lingers on and on – taking nearly a half hour.

That didn’t used to be the case. But now, the too-long halftimes just add to what are closer to three-hour high-school football games, when contests used to take two hours or fewer to complete, including halftimes.

Why do high-school halftimes need to be 15 minutes? Those same breaks in NFL contests are 12.

High-school halftimes should be 10 minutes total. That’s enough time to do everything needed during those breaks, that is if a coaching staff is well-organized. Also, maybe teams shouldn’t leave the field area. That would hurry the process.

When 10 minutes are up, the teams should be on the field ready to begin the second half, not just coming back onto the field, preparing to warm up.

Of course, for this to work, a much quicker halftime process has to be enforced. Violators would be flagged for delay-of-game penalties.

None of this is likely to happen.

As a result, prep football halftimes and games will keep dragging on and on and on for way tooooooooo long.

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