High school football games can be nail-biting, especially when they go into overtime. But do you know how overtime rules work in high school football? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this easy-to-understand guide, we’ll break down the high school football overtime rules, so you can enjoy every thrilling moment of the game.
A Quick Overview of High School Football Overtime Rule
Overtime is like a bonus round in high school football. It happens when the game ends in a tie after the usual four quarters. During overtime, both teams get a chance to score, and the one that scores the most points wins. Simple, right? Now, let’s dive deeper into the rules.
Starting with a Coin Toss
At the beginning of overtime, there’s a coin toss to decide who gets the ball first. The team that wins the toss can choose to play offense or defense. The other team picks which side of the field they want to play on. This coin toss adds an element of strategy to the game right from the start.
Each Team Gets a Turn
In overtime, both teams get a fair shot to score points. Each team has one possession series, which means they get the ball and have four chances (called downs) to score. They start at either the opponent’s 10-yard line or 25-yard line, depending on the rules in their state.
How to Score Points in Overtime
During their possession series, a team can score points by scoring a touchdown or kicking a field goal. If they score a touchdown, they can choose to kick an extra point or go for a two-point conversion. Some states require teams to try a two-point conversion after a certain number of overtime periods.
Defense Can Score, Too
The defense can also score points in overtime. If they intercept a pass or recover a fumble, they can try to run it back for a touchdown. If they succeed, the game is over, and they win!
What Happens if There’s Still a Tie?
If both teams score the same number of points during their possession series, it’s time for another round of overtime. This keeps going until one team scores more points than the other in a single round. The suspense just keeps building!
Are There Any Limits to Overtime Rule in High School Football?
Some states have rules about how many overtime periods are allowed in a game. For example, they might say that regular-season games can have up to four overtime periods, while playoff games can have more or even unlimited overtime periods.
Different Rules in Different States
Remember, high school football rules can vary depending on where you live. Each state has its own high school athletic association that sets the rules for overtime. These differences can include things like the starting field position or when teams have to try a two-point conversion.
High School Football Overtime Strategies
In overtime, coaches and players need to think carefully about their strategy. Since each team gets a possession series, they have to balance offense and defense to score points while preventing the other team from scoring. This adds even more excitement and tension to the game.
A Few Famous High School Football Games that Went to Overtime
There have been some epic high school football overtime games throughout history. For example, in 2010, Jacksonville High School (Arkansas) and North Pulaski High School played a game that went into an incredible seven overtime periods! In the end, Jacksonville won 84-68. Can you imagine the excitement of watching that game?
Wrapping It Up
Now you know all about high school football overtime rules! Understanding these rules will help you enjoy the game even more, especially when it goes into those heart-pounding extra.