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Sports NotebookSports Notebook: Long football games

Sports Notebook: Long football games

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For those who haven’t yet witnessed any early-season high-school football games, be prepared for long contests with constant stoppage of play, no flow of the game, and regular interruptions.

Some games have lasted longer than three hours. Used to be high-school football games took two hours to play or less.

The reasons for the long games are multiple.

There is a lot more passing now in high-school football, which means more stoppage of the clock when a pass is incomplete.


During the early season, there always tends to be many more penalties and players having leg cramps, especially during hot afternoon games. All of that stops and delays play.

Also, why does it take upwards of 2 minutes or longer after a touchdown or field goal for the ensuing kickoff to occur? Teams will be allowed to huddle on the sidelines for a minute or so before lining up for the kickoff.

So many game officials also don’t seem to have a sense of urgency to speed the games along like used to occur much more often. Are they too inexperienced to do better? Also, there are multiple huddles among the game officials during any contest to discuss whatever. What’s that all about?

And how many times does this happen. The offense and defense will be lined up, the ball ready to be snapped, then a game official will run toward the ball blowing a whistle to interrupt the flow of the game for whatever reason.

For all of those reasons, there is little consistent flow or rhythm to so many high-school football games anymore, and nothing is being done to fix the situation. Maybe most don’t believe it needs fixing.

It does. Three-hour delay-filled high-school football games are way too long.

– Dave Facinoli


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