Some Iowa high school football games will last longer next season after the Iowa High School Athletic Association voted to change the 50-point mercy rule. The mercy rule was instituted in 1992 and said a game would end at halftime or anytime in the second half once one team built a 50-point lead. Association spokesman Bud Legg says that’s changing. He says the 50-point rule is changing so when a team gets a 35-point lead, the clock will run continuously. The clock would only stop for injuries or time out. Legg says one team has to maintain the 35-point lead to keep the clock running.He says if a team was leading by 42 points and the other team scores two touchdowns to start the second half, the game would go back to normal time rules. Legg says changing the rule will ensure games don’t end abruptly at the half. He says the rule doesn’t prevent halftime ceremonies, as before people would leave if the game was over and the band didn’t get to play, and you didn’t have homecoming ceremonies. He says it will also allow coaches to play more kids. Legg says there were over 16-hundred games last season, and 180 ended early by the 50-point rule.
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