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StopwatchAs a high school football official, I have the opportunity to referee two or three high school football games each week.

There are numerous timing rules, as stated by the National Federation of State High School Associations.  In theory, all the coaches know going in what they are.  Among them:

  • Each quarter is 12 minutes long – no longer unless an unusual circumstance calls for an additional untimed play. When the game is over, it’s over.
  • Team time-outs are to be one minute – no longer.
  • Teams get 25 seconds between downs. A five-yard delay of game penalty results if
    they take too much time.  Everyone knows it.

There are also agreed-upon rules for political debates, usually accepted in-advance by all of the participants.

There are rules for things like which side of the stage each candidate will occupy and the format of questions.

Like football, there are also timing rules, such as:

  • How much time for opening remarks;
  • How much time for answering questions;
  • How much time for rebuttals; and
  • How much time for closing statements.

The moderators’ jobs would be made much easier and the candidates would not come off as being so rude, obnoxious and non-rule-abiding if the networks would do one simple thing:  control the microphone.

Each candidate’s mic should be shut off when they do not have the floor and should be shut off when their agreed-upon time is up.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

1 Comment

  1. David Landis says:

    Scott, couldn’t agree more. Cheers, David

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