Pacific football: ‘Mercy rule’ exists, non-DODDS schools not ruled out of D-I playoffs
Published: October 16, 2011
Might have jumped the gun with last night’s post about the lack of wide knowledge of Pacific high school football “mercy rule” and also who may or may not be eligible for the Far East Division I football playoffs and the reasons why.
First, the “mercy rule.”
According to Don Hobbs, DODDS Pacific’s Far East athletics coordinator, the current rule reads as follows:
Whenever there is a 30-plus point lead, the following will become effective:
-- The team ahead will substitute non-starters for starting players.
-- The team ahead will not attempt forward passes.
-- The team ahead will attempt only point-after-touchdown kicks (no two-point attempts).
-- There will be a running clock, and it will be stopped only for injury or when the losing team is awarded a timeout.
-- When the lead decreases to less than 21 points, the restrictions will be lifted until the 30-point differential is re-established.
Policies from the school year 2010-11 manual apply to the current season until the 2011-12 manual is sent out, which Hobbs says he expects to be distributed in about 10 days. In the meantime, all DODDS Pacific coaches and athletics directors should know where the rule can be found and how it reads, he said.
That said, the widest dissemination possible needs to happen with the "mercy rule" to avert situations like we had Saturday at Zama, especially to the various officials associations which referee our Pacific high school games.
Next, the Far East Division I football playoffs
Scratch what I posted about eligibility tracking and accounting; Hobbs states that has never been an issue with non-DODDS schools' participation.
The Far East playoffs are a work in progress, continually evolving, Hobbs said. For now, only DODDS Pacific teams will participate, though they’ve not completely ruled out non-DODDS schools’ participation at some point.
DODDS Pacific has historically admitted schools to their athletic activities by the following invitation priority:
-- DODDS Pacific schools.
-- Schools participating in existing leagues with DODDS Pacific schools, to include the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools, Okinawa Activities Council and Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam, which have football as part of their constitutions. Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference schools do not play football, other than its DODDS Pacific schools.
-- Other schools that have recently participated in the activity.
-- Other schools participating for the first time.
As to American School In Japan, Hobbs said the schools stated it had another activity this school year and would not be available for this year’s football playoffs.
The IIAAG playoffs stretch over three weekends this month, concluding with Saturday’s Bamboo Bowl pitting Guam High at George Washington.
“We cannot and will not have teams participate … when it is only convenient for them. … A long-term commitment will be necessary, especially for football,” Hobbs said, adding that DODDS won’t schedule its football playoffs around a non-DODDS league’s postseason.
Had Guam High won the Oct. 3 play-in game at Kadena, it could conceivably have had 12 games this season. Same would have held true for George Washington had it participated in the Far East postseason. Hobbs said one goal of his is to get more games for DODDS Pacific teams.