Kevin Tanton, a Math teacher and former Lady Cats Assistant Basketball Coach, is also a high school football official. Tanton is in his first year in the Dallas officials chapter after a couple of years in the local Commerce chapter. He is a line judge.
Wednesday morning (August 22) Tanton commented on rule changes coming to high school football games this fall. Tanton said football officials would be making sure that all players on the field were wearing knee pads. He said players without knee pads would be sent off of the field.
Tanton said the blocking below the waist rule has been changed again. He said now officials may consider some such blocks are legal if a player can see the block coming so they can defend themselves from the block. Tanton said blocking below the waist still must occur within five yards of the line of scrimmage.
Another new rule allows a player receiving a kickoff inside their own 25 yard line to call for and make a fair catch. Officials then will mark the ball at the 25-yard line. All of these changes were made in an attempt to improve player safety.
Tanton said there are also some new rules concerning the play clock. He said after a touchdown, officials will set the play clock at :40 seconds. Teams will have 40 seconds to attempt an extra point or two point conversion. A 40-second play clock will also be used after a kickoff. The changes were made to speed up the game.