Court Decides Outcome of High School Football Game


It appears that high school football teams will need lawyers as well as coaches standing on the sidelines in light of the recent officiating snafu during the Illinois Class 7A state semifinal game last weekend.

In the crucial final play of regulation, referees applied the wrong penalty when assessing an intentional grounding infraction against Fenwick High allowing their opponent Plainfield North to attempt a field goal. Their successful three-point score tied the game setting up an overtime situation in which Plainfield won the contest sending them to the Illinois State Championship Game.


But here lies the rub. According to the National Federation of High School rules, the intentional grounding penalty that occurred while time expired should have resulted in a loss of down and not the turning of the ball over to Plainfield for an untimed down with no seconds on the clock.

Deadspin reported:

On the final play of the fourth quarter in today’s IHSA [Illinois High School Association] Class 7A Semifinal Football game between Fenwick High School and Plainfield North High School, an error was made by the officiating crew, which resulted in an untimed down being awarded to Plainfield North.

On the untimed down, Plainfield North tied the contest with a field goal and then went on to win the game 18-17 in overtime. Per Rule 3-3-4 in the 2016 NFHS Football Rules Book, the game should have concluded on the final play of regulation and the untimed down should not have been awarded.

The IHSA also said that the decision, however erroneous, was also final.

IHSA by-law 6.033 clearly states that “the decisions of game officials shall be final; protests against the decision of a game official shall not be reviewed by the Board of Directors.”

Fenwick coach Gene Nudo insists that his team should have won the game because the referee’s decision was wrong by rule definition and not by an officiating judgement. Though the IHSA initially granted an appeal to Fenwick, they retracted it and later denied Nudo the request. Not willing to let the injustice stand, Fenwick summoned the Circuit Court of Cook County and filed a lawsuit.

The case slated for Wednesday will determine which team will go to the state championship. Fenwick claims precedents exist to justify their legal action citing a 2008 decision in Mississippi as well as another IHSA incident in a 2008 Illinois state wrestling tournament.

The outcome of the conflict now lies with Lady Justice, in this case, Judge Kathleen Kennedy imbued with making the legal ruling.

So the obvious moral of this sorry modern day high school sports story is: “It’s not who wins the game but who has the best lawyer.”

View the original article:

Update, 12:01 p.m. EST: The judge has ruled in favor of Plainfield North.

In the same category are

Neo-Nazi blog The Daily Stormer tries to move to Russian domain (Credit: Getty/Chip Somodevilla) An American neo-Nazi website has taken a cue from Donald Trump Jr. by looking to Russians for help. Less than a day ...
Martin Shkreli thinks he’ll be president someday (Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Do you think Martin Shkreli, aka the “Pharma Bro,” is destined to become an American president? If you don&...
Donald Trump’s CEO advisory councils are done, but who eliminated them? Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sheryl Sandberg, Mike Pence, Donald Trump and Peter Thiel meet at Trump Tower in New York, December 14, 2016. (Credit: Getty/...
Navigating Paradox, Reality Bubbles, & Multiple Worldviews with VR Dr. Marilyn Schlitz is a social anthropologist, consciousness researcher, and co-author of the books Consciousness & Healing and Living Deeply. He...
Social VR Platform ‘AltspaceVR’ Reopens Virtual Doors, May Live On Yet Following the recent announcement that social VR platform AltspaceVR would be permanently closing its doors after running dry of VR funds, the company...
EVE: Valkyrie ‘Warzone’ Update Adds Non-VR Mode and PS4, PC Cross Platform Play One of the earliest big exclusive releases for VR, EVE: Valkyrie from CCP Games, continues to evolve and with the latest free expansion dubbed ‘...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook

Need something to share, visit our sister site for the news this week in a clear concise package ….

Comment on this story