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Overtime: A Modest Proposal

September 28th, 2009 by John Stephens

In college and high school football an overtime procedure is used to determine the winner. This method is sometimes referred to as a “Kansas Playoff “or “Kansas Plan” because of its origins for high school football in that state.

What Follows is a Brief Summary of the Rules:

1.  A coin toss determines which side shall attempt to score first, and at which end zone the scores shall be attempted.

2.  Each team in turn will receive one possession, starting with first-and-10 from a fixed point on the opponent’s side of the field. The game clock does not run during overtime; the play clock, however, is enforced.

3. In high school football, the ball begins at the 10-yard line, with the option for state high school associations to use different yardage (such as the 15, 20, or 25-yard line)

4. A team’s possession ends when it scores (touchdown or field goal), misses a field goal, fails to gain a first down on the final down, or loses the ball by turnover. As usual, a touchdown by the offense is followed by a try for one or two points.

5. If the score remains tied at the end of the overtime procedure, an additional overtime procedure is played. The team with the second possession in one overtime procedure will have the first possession in the next overtime procedure.

6. Referees are celebrated as community heroes for taking the extra 20 minutes out of their day to satisfy the wishes of two communities and their beloved football players who work hard all week in pursuit of the W.

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