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Tomahawk Talk: 2019 football rule changes

Its football time in Tennessee. High school teams wrapped up their first week of official practice on Friday and they all will have to adapt to a few rule changes. A few of them I have found really interesting.

Scrimmage Formation
The offensive team no longer has to have seven men on the line of scrimmage. This will allow teams to run an extra player on the field if they only have 10 men on the field.
The new rule states that six men can be on the line of scrimmage with four in the backfield as long as five players on the line are offensive lineman with the traditional numbering. (Lineman from 50-79). This means you can run a play in the 11th man is not on the field without be assessed a penalty.

You can’t trip the runner
Previously you couldn’t trip anyone except the runner but that too is now forbidden. The illegal conduct penalty will now be a 15-yard penalty.

Horse collar
A player can no longer grab a runner by the jersey’s back name plate and pull him down. It’s a penalty if you grab the back of the jersey with motion. The cost is a 15-yard penalty.

40 second play clock
It is now mandatory that teams run an offensive play before the 40-second clock expires. This should make the games faster with a lot less delays.
Note that 25 seconds will be used instead of 40; prior to an extra point try, to start a period or overtime, following an inadvertent whistle, following a charged timeout or official timeout and following the stoppage of the play clock by the referee for any other reason.

Jersey numbers to be solid
The TSSAA are making teams aware that all numbers must be a solid color by the year 2024. Currently numbers can be the same color as the jersey with a different color outlining it. The makes the players difficult to identify for everyone.

Illegal batting or kicking
The penalty has been reduced from 15 to 10 yards for this infraction.

Back in the saddle
It’s good to be back as your sports editor at the Tomahawk. I will be covering high school and junior high football, basketball, baseball and softball in addition to do
some feature stories.
I am really looking forward to working with Beth Cox in our sports department along with our editor Tamas Mondovics, publisher
Bill Thomas and the rest of our staff.
Our aim is to bring you the best sports coverage
that we possibly can that
will compliment the
other parts of our
newspaper. Please feel free to contact me at anytime. My number is 423-408-9768 or you can email me at [email protected]