CHAPMANVILLE - Changes are coming to high school football this fall.
Not just in the Mountain State.
The new clock rule, which will be a 40-second clock from the previous play as opposed to the 25-second ball spot clock will end up changing the game, Chapmanville football coach Rob Dial said.
The game could be sped up for one.
Dial will explain that later.
There could also be more possessions, more plays and possibly more punts.
"The biggest change that you are going to see this season, not only for the Tigers, but around the state is that there has been a major rule change in high school football," Dial said. "We've gone from a 25-second play clock to a 40-second play clock. What that has done in my opinion, or what I think it will do, is to cause there to be more more plays in a ballgame. This rule is not just all across the state of West Virginia, it's all across the country. This comes from the National Federation."
Dial said teams will have to play a much quicker pace.
"It's going to force teams to be much quicker calling plays," he said. "If you are a huddle team you have to get out of the huddle a lot quicker. If you are a personnel grouping team where you want to sub four receivers and run two tight ends and a fullbacks on the next play you are going to have to be able to do that much much faster."
Long pass plays which are complete will force teams to hurry down field, set up and call the next play.
If they don't the dreaded yellow hankies will be flying due to delay of game penalties.
"The way it worked previously with the 25-second clock is that once the ball was spotted by the official after the play the official would blow the whistle, make the hand signal, and the 25-second clock would start," Dial said. "Now, the 40-second clock starts as soon as the previous play is over. So if you throw a 40-yard pass play deep down the field, whether it's complete or incomplete and as soon as the whistle is blown, the 40-second play clock starts. So your linemen will have to hustle 40 yards down the field on a long completed pass or your receivers will have to sprint 40 yards back to the line of scrimmage on an incomplete pass."
Dial said the time teams take to huddle up will sometimes make slower paced teams have to speed things up.
"This will force teams to play more players and there will be a lot more snaps in a ballgame," Dial said. "I think that you will see teams that huddle decrease doing that and you'll see a lot more no-huddle teams. I also believe that you'll see more plays in the game and more possessions on both sides. Special teams will play a bigger role now because there will be more kicking, including punts and kickoffs."
But will the game take longer time-wise with possibly more plays and more possessions?
That remains to be seen.
"It depends," Dial said.
Logan coach Jimmy Sheppard agreed with Dial saying the game could be sped up.
"We run out of the no huddle so it won't affect us as much," Sheppard said. "But it affect our opponents. Some of them are power running teams that like to slow the tempo down. That will make them go faster. Most of the teams we play though, particularly in the Cardinal Conference, are no huddle teams. It could affect a team like Man that runs a lot. For us, we could get some more offensive plays."With a completed long pass, teams must hustle down field.
"You also have to have a good ball boy," Sheppard said.
Man coach Harvey Arms said his team will have to adjust to the new rule.
The Hillbillies have a traditional huddle up, run-oriented, ball control, take-it-down-your-throat kind of offense.
Man wears the hard hats and carries the lunch pails and loves to try to wear you down with its patented ground attack.
The Billies, however, may be forced to speed things up a little bit.
"I'm a little bit concerned about the implementation," Arms said. "I'm sure when everything smooths out and everybody gets used to it it will be a good rule. It probably will speed the game up some. I'm a bit worried about the change over. We might have some tough times getting it started. It's new the clock operator, new to your chain game so there might be a period of adjustment."
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at email@example.com.