I'm all for rules, as much as the next person. However, you have to know the ramifications of the rule and understand who the rule is punishing, as well the concept of the violation before implementing the rule. What is the rule supposed to accomplish? Nassau County, high school football had a rule designed to prevent teams from running up the score. It sounds fine on the surface but when you understand each circumstance, a blanket rule doesn't work.

Football players are ready to start.
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According to an article by Gregg Sarra on newsday.com, "In 2019, Plainedge coach Rob Shaver was the first coach suspended for one game under the policy after his team beat South Side, 61-13. Following Shaver's suspension, the rule was changed to allow a coach three violations of the rule before a suspension was possible. This past season the Garden City coach David Ettinger received a written warning after his team's fourth violation. Ettinger elected to sit out the next game in a self-imposed ban."

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Unfortunately, each school district isn't the same. Some school districts emphasize sports more than others due to a myriad of factors. The long and short, it really isn't Rob Shaver's or David Ettinger's fault that they are good coaches with well supported programs. Some school districts hire bad coaches and don't understand the benefits of quality athletic programs. Some just don't have the resources. Should the Plainedge or Garden City football players, that work their tails off in the weight room and on the practice field, have to sit the entire second half of games because they are blowing out their opponents, who maybe don't work as hard? What about injuries? When players are told to play at half speed against players that are trying to play at full speed, someone gets hurt. What about players that are trying to play in college? They may be playing in front of evaluators. The can't sit.

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Nassau County is eliminating its controversial sportsmanship rule designed to prevent teams from running up the score in high school football games and will instead implement a running clock when a team leads by 35 or more points, according to Matt McLees, the county's football coordinator.

High school football players on the way to a first down.
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"We did a study and the research found that in the history of Long Island football, no team has ever come back from a 35-point deficit in Nassau or Suffolk," McLees said. "Our coaches are very comfortable with the new 35-point rule and voted unanimously to implement it for 2022." Sometimes, it takes a little time to get a rule right. This seems to be a great solution.

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