Written by Corbett Smith
Tick, ticking away: UIL approves use of 40-second play clock for 2014 football season
ROUND ROCK - Mentioned almost as an aside at the UIL Legislative Council's policy subcommittee meeting on Sunday, UIL athletic director Mark Cousins announced that for the 2014 football season, the UIL's football rules committee has decided that it will allow the use of a 40-second play clock. The change will bring the UIL in step with the NCAA, which made a switch from the 25-second play clock to 40 seconds in the 2008 season.
Cousins said the change won't mandate that schools purchase new play clocks - or play clocks at all for that matter - merely allowing those interested to use the up-to-date guidelines. Currently, the league doesn't require a play clock at all.
From a football FAQ on the league's web site:
Q: Is the 25-second clock required? A: No! If a 25-second clock is in operation and the home team will use it, the visiting team will also use it. There is no mandate to install a 25-second clock any time in the near future because of the added cost to schools for installation and operation. If schools want to purchase a 25-second clock or a new scoreboard with a 25-second clock, they may do so. However, to repeat, Texas' high schools are not required to use the clock in their football games.
Under the up-to-date NCAA guidelines, the 40-second clock starts immediately at the end of the last play, as opposed to the 25-second play clock - which requires officials to mark the ball before time is started.
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