NFHS: Leave Friday nights to high school footballA resolution adopted by the National Federation of State High School Associations urges college and pro football leagues to leave Friday nights to high schools.
In 2016, the Big Ten Conference announced it would begin scheduling Friday night games with the 2017 season. Its schedule initially included six Friday night games, but it has since dropped to four after receiving criticism from a number of coaches, organizations and state high school associations. Still, there are more than 50 Friday college games scheduled during the 2017 season.Opponents feared that Friday college games could lead to smaller crowds and revenue losses at high school games.
The NFHS resolution, adopted last week, reads as follows:
“Be it RESOLVED that every Friday night during the fall in America is ‘High School Football Night.’
“Be it FURTHER RESOLVED that college and professional football teams should refrain from scheduling contests on Friday nights. Such restraint would be an investment in their own future success. It would also demonstrate that high school football has value well beyond the field of play. Schools, communities and scholastic teams for girls and boys all benefit when football is strong.
“THEREFORE, the National Federation of State High School Associations urges all parties to observe the central premise of this resolution.”
“The value of tradition cannot be overstated,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “Friday nights offer communities a traditional time and place to congregate and support their students. If a major college football game was scheduled in the area on a Friday night, it could affect attendance at the high school game or cause the game to be moved to another day. In addition, many of the Friday night college games are televised, which could result in lower attendance at high school contests nationwide.
“We believe retaining Friday nights for high school contests is a plus for colleges as well as they reap the benefits of healthy programs at the high school level.”