Colorado to try out 40-second play clock in prep football

August 1, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
Colorado will test out a 40-second play clock this season for high school football, becoming one of three states to experiment with the new rule.

quarterback footballColorado had been using a 25-second clock, one that started on the official’s whistle once the ball had been placed at the line of scrimmage. Under the experimental 40-second clock, the time will begin running as soon as the previous play ends, with the exception of stoppages such as penalties or timeouts. Under those circumstances, the 25-second clock will be used.

Indiana and Michigan will also experiment with the rule this fall. Texas has been using it since the 2014 season.


The aim is to provide a consistent interval between plays, said CHSAA associate commissioner Tom Robinson, who is in charge of officials.

“We try to work with referees in terms of when they mark and spot the ball,” Robinson said. “Teams are often waiting for the ready to play. There are a number of inconsistencies, and this will hopefully give teams the opportunity to dictate the pace of the game. We want the teams to dictate the pace, not the officials.”

Additionally, the play clock will not wait on a chain crew after a first down.

“They’re not going to wait for the chain crew, period,” Robinson said. “(The officials) might drop a bean bag to mark a first down” if the chain crew isn’t in position at the snap following a first down.

According to the article, Colorado could experiment with the rule for up to three seasons before making a permanent decision. It’s possible that the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Football Rules Committee considers the change before then.

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