Overtime rules: Good? Bad? Or…?

Lexi Graham, Reporter

Overtime is always an important part of a tied game. It is the deal breaker, it is the part that makes or breaks the game. Whether or not the team advances into the next round of playoffs or to state. Overtime is special.

And yet, it differentiates between professional football and high school football. Some like the National Football League’s (NFL) rules, others dislike their rules. Exhibit A, me.

The NFL changed their rules in March of 2012 from sudden death to modified sudden death. All it really means is that the owners have changed the rules, as recommended by the competition committee, to be the same as if the tied game was a playoff game. Both teams get the ball, unless the team who wins the ball in the coin toss scores a touchdown. The other team would not have a chance to try to match the score. Yet the game can end in a tie, unlike a playoff game.

In high school football, the rules are currently sudden death. Both teams get the ball and both teams get the chance to score or match the score on their drives. And in my book, that is more fair than the NFL’s rules. The rules in high school are the same in college. When college students move up and into the NFL, the rules change. If I moved up and I was participating in an overtime game in the NFL, after at least five to eight years of overtime experience in high school and college and rules being drilled into my brain, I would have moments of confusion.

In the game between Seattle and Denver a few weeks ago, Seattle scored and that was it, end of game. While Seattle is my favored team and I loved to see them win the game, I thought it was completely unfair to leave Denver standing there without a chance to try and score. It was unfair for three reasons:

First, in kindergarten, every teacher is all about giving everyone a chance, that should apply to football as well. Second, Denver is a good team, they could have tried to get a field goal or a touchdown to match Seattle if they had a chance. And third, in high school, whoever scores gets a chance to stop the other team from scoring and if they succeed then they win, at least the other team gets a shot at some extra points so their loss is not as brutal.

All in all, the overtime rules need to revert back. Two years is too long. The rules were much more fair and there was no confusion when high school football players went to college and then the NFL. We need to keep our Peninsula Seahawks up to date with expectations and not confused if and when they go to college and then the NFL.