Sportsmanship - End of Game Management
The NFHS Game Officials Manual Committee has once again made the Sportsmanship a point of emphassis for the 2012-2013 football seasons and wants to extend the focus to include end-of-game protocol/preventive officiating. NFHS football rules allow state associations to prescribe a point differetial that allows the game to be terminated or a running clock to be used. The NFHS Football Rules Committee shares the concern about potential injuries and the issues surrounding sportsmanship in those situations when the point differential is implemented. A basic requirement for all athletes to be able to control their emotions when things occur that trigger unsportsmanlike behavior. It is of the utmost importance that participants, coaches and game officials carefully and diligently enfore all playing rules, but particularly those regarding safety and risk minimization. Unwarranted and unnecesssary "punishing" of an opponent has become a style fo play that is specifically condemned when a game has been decided. Players must be made aware of potentially unsafe techniques and refrain from their use. For game officials, dead-ball officiating is critical in these types games. Players must be monitored carefully as they may resort to cheap shots. Game officials must be ever vigilant to make calls involving player safety and potential risk. There are several areas of officiating that should never be compromised. Taunting and fouls that endanger player safety must never be ignored. Obvious and blatant acts cannot be ignored. Players also have responsibilities to their teams and their opponents to play within the rules for the whole game. All game officials have an opportunity to exercise preventative officiating but must call those fouls related to player safety. Game officials will, at times, need to be more vocal on the field and empower the captains to help game officials keep their teammates in line. Coaches and game officials must act decisively to eliminate - to the greatest extent possible - threats of the welfare of football players.