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    Premium Member mcraycraft's Avatar
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    Default What is running up the score?

    I have seen comments in the past about teams running up the score. I understand being up quite a few points with the first team still in is wrong or having a huge lead and maybe going for it on 4th down could be considered running up the score. BUT if my third string is in and I am up 40-50 points, shouldn't that third stringer get the chance to throw, run, etc for a touchdown. He did not go out for the team just because he looks good in the uniform. This might be the only chance he gets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcraycraft View Post
    I have seen comments in the past about teams running up the score. I understand being up quite a few points with the first team still in is wrong or having a huge lead and maybe going for it on 4th down could be considered running up the score. BUT if my third string is in and I am up 40-50 points, shouldn't that third stringer get the chance to throw, run, etc for a touchdown. He did not go out for the team just because he looks good in the uniform. This might be the only chance he gets.
    I agree with you 100%. 2ed and 3rd string players spend all week getting pounded on. They get very few chances to get on the playing field. And from what I can remember most coaches, players anyone around the game will tell you that you get hurt when you are not giving 100%. But over the years I have seen my fair share of coaches who have had their #1s in up by 40 running it up.

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    I agree. Second and third stringers work hard for that one chance to get on the field.They should play as hard as they can,giving 100% at all times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcraycraft View Post
    I have seen comments in the past about teams running up the score. I understand being up quite a few points with the first team still in is wrong or having a huge lead and maybe going for it on 4th down could be considered running up the score. BUT if my third string is in and I am up 40-50 points, shouldn't that third stringer get the chance to throw, run, etc for a touchdown. He did not go out for the team just because he looks good in the uniform. This might be the only chance he gets.
    Yes the 2nd or 3rd string should play at full speed and if they score then so be it. I donít think a good coach would want his players to do any less and will pull the starters when he feels the game is in hand. Not only does it give players a chance to play who might not normally get in, but they gain valuable experience for later on. Now if a team is up 40 or 50 points and the 2nd string QB is slinging the ball down field every play it might be more of a judgment call as to whether the coach is trying get the QB some passing experience or running up the score, but each team and each situation is different.

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    Everything is fair game until the point differential reaches 100, in my opinion!

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    Premium Member Voice of Reason's Avatar
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    I do think many people are overly sensitive to "running up the score". IMO, on the varsity level, virtually nothing can be considered running up the score in the first half of a game or if there is less than a 5 TD spread between the teams in the 3rd quarter. When a score gets to the point where you put in your two's, passing on 1st or 2nd down is a no no unless your whole offense is a passing offense. No trick plays. No onsides kicks, etc. Once a team is up by 60, run the absolute basics and try to get off the field healthy. You have to look at the game and situation but I think the above are guidelines that almost all would agree with. The tough part is it is hard to be objective when you are getting your butt kicked in a game and emotions are high. I also say, if a team is getting trounced and their opponent puts in their two's, the team getting trounced should not keep their first team out there for more than one possession. Their number two's want to play also so put them out there.

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    Premium Member ColonelMike's Avatar
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    Large margins are fine...here are my "rules"...

    ...If I'm leading by tons at the half, my #1s play ONLY the first series of the second half. Why? To practice making adjustments. From then on, it's the 2s and 3s...
    ...if my offense is a passing offense, my 2s and 3s will pass. Why would I want them to practice anything else?
    ...if I'm the coach on the losing end of a big score, please keep playing football. How will I be able to teach my team if all you do is fullback dive plays? Obviously, my team needs the reps.
    ...NO trick plays. NO onside kicks. NO two point conversions. NO bombs downfield. NO fake punts or field goals. None of these are part of anyone's base offense. And while we're at it, NO going for it on fourth down.
    ...Defensively, if I'm up big, I quit blitzing.

    In short, if I'm losing to you big, I want you to KEEP PLAYING FOOTBALL. And if I'm winning big, I'm stupid to leave my studs in, risking injury and blowing a chance to develop the backups...

    UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT: First game of the season about 6-7 years ago...one team is a traditional power; the other a frequent visitor to the top 10. The second team has had a rash of injuries and starts three freshmen at linebacker during the game. The traditional power proceeds to methodically take advantage of the LB spot with its passing game and blows out to a 50 point lead...on the final play of the game, the traditional power still has its starting offense in, and throws a BOMB downfield. Ridiculous.

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    Moderator mcpapa's Avatar
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    I've always been of the opinion that the first half is fair game.

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    I think as long you are not going with your first string and you keep scoring it is ok. It is not a team that has a decent 2nd or 3rd string fault that those kids might be better thant hose kids lined up against them. If a 2nd string RB scores a TD late in a game, then good for him and good for that offensice line. They desereve to celebrate their accomplishments during teh week on Friday night as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbwill2 View Post
    Everything is fair game until the point differential reaches 100, in my opinion!
    Seriously? I wouldn't say that. I think:

    1) Any scoring in the first half is fair game.
    2) If a team leads by more than 30 in the second half and is still scoring with their first string in, they're running up the score. They need to put their second and third teamers in. That's the time and place where a coach needs to teach good sportsmanship and get the backups in the game - third string sophomores getting varsity p.t., they live for that. Furthermore, if the second and third teamers increase the lead, so be it. You can't expect second and third string to have to play poorly because the other team isn't able to keep up.
    3) If the second and third teams have been sent in and the lead is diminished to less than 30, it's fair to put your first string back in to regain the lead.

    My humble opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonels_Wear_Blue View Post
    Seriously? I wouldn't say that. I think:

    1) Any scoring in the first half is fair game.
    2) If a team leads by more than 30 in the second half and is still scoring with their first string in, they're running up the score. They need to put their second and third teamers in. That's the time and place where a coach needs to teach good sportsmanship and get the backups in the game - third string sophomores getting varsity p.t., they live for that. Furthermore, if the second and third teamers increase the lead, so be it. You can't expect second and third string to have to play poorly because the other team isn't able to keep up.
    3) If the second and third teams have been sent in and the lead is diminished to less than 30, it's fair to put your first string back in to regain the lead.

    My humble opinion.
    Looks good to me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FC View Post
    Yes the 2nd or 3rd string should play at full speed and if they score then so be it. I donít think a good coach would want his players to do any less and will pull the starters when he feels the game is in hand. Not only does it give players a chance to play who might not normally get in, but they gain valuable experience for later on. Now if a team is up 40 or 50 points and the 2nd string QB is slinging the ball down field every play it might be more of a judgment call as to whether the coach is trying get the QB some passing experience or running up the score, but each team and each situation is different.
    Couldn't agree more FC, very well put.

    Later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonels_Wear_Blue View Post
    Seriously?
    No, I am not being serious!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbwill2 View Post
    No, I am not being serious!
    Sportsmanship????

    Ever been on the wrong end of a lopsided score either as a player or coach?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbwill2 View Post
    No, I am not being serious!
    Ahh...good. Just checking.

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    Two points on this situation:

    1. Sometimes the coach on the bad side of a lopsided score can be to blame. I remember one time years ago we were up 66-0 early in the third and we practically had the cheerleaders in but the young coach on the other side kept right on throwing the ball not taking a minute off the clock when he had the ball and threw 4 interceptions, 2 returned for td's against our freshmen. What are you to do? On the offensive side, we just poked our fullback in there 3 times and punted but that didnt always work. I refuse to punt on first down. I think that is even more humiliating than the score! I saw the same situation one year that Pineville was playing a second year program. Both these games were before the running clock!

    2. These type games really skew your stats. We had a tb that had rushed for over 1500 yards in his jr and soph seasons and we were in one of these blowout situations. The lowest output of yardage this rb's senior year was this game. He had 160 some yards on only 6 carries and, in retrospect, it really wasnt fair to not let him have 3 or 4 more carries in the first half but I was simply ashamed to give him the ball. It also skews your defensive stats. It is demoralizing to your defensive unit to hold a good team to one score or scoreless and then allow 3 or 4 scores by an inferior team when we have freshmen in and they are still using their first bunch. We had an undefeated regular season in the 90's and the most points by far that we gave up was to the same team I mentioned earlier. I know stats dont matter but you know as well as I do that it matters to the kids!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voice of Reason View Post
    When a score gets to the point where you put in your two's, passing on 1st or 2nd down is a no no unless your whole offense is a passing offense. No trick plays. No onsides kicks, etc. Once a team is up by 60, run the absolute basics and try to get off the field healthy. You have to look at the game and situation but I think the above are guidelines that almost all would agree with. The tough part is it is hard to be objective when you are getting your butt kicked in a game and emotions are high. I also say, if a team is getting trounced and their opponent puts in their two's, the team getting trounced should not keep their first team out there for more than one possession. Their number two's want to play also so put them out there.
    For the first part I bolded may I ask why? I mean maybe the best way for the two's not to run up the score would be passing. I mean still some teams #2's are going to still just be able to run it down some teams throats still. So passing the ball and throwing hitches and outs, and stuff like that with your second string QB and second string WR's might be whats best for not running up the score in some situations? I just don't think people should completely rule out passing the ball in blowouts, because sometimes it would be better to do that.


    Now for the second part I bolded. You are saying if a team is say up 48 to 0 at half and they play their 2nd team to start the second half. That the losing team should only keep their starters in for one possession in that second half and then come out? Why? I mean for one if someone's first team was so much better than my first team, then most likely their second team is a lot better than my second team. So things would continue to get worst. I would keep my first team in still till AT LEAST the fourth quarter and maybe till half way through the fourth quarter before I also put my second string in. I mean it would give you 1st team a chance to maybe build some confidence by putting together a scoring drive, and just a chance to work on some things.

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    Premium Member John Anthony's Avatar
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    It depends on the level of play in high school after its a 35 point lead there is no reason to put 70 up in my opinion.... in a pewee game of 3rd and 4th graders, when your up by 3 TD's then punt on first down to the other team so you can keep your starters in.... saw this last weekend.

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    Sometime it is pay back. Three years ago when my son played his team was down by 28 in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes to go the other team put their starters back in, thru deep for another T.D. For the next couple years we, players and parents wanted our coach to run it up. But he didn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jarheade5 View Post
    Sometime it is pay back. Three years ago when my son played his team was down by 28 in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes to go the other team put their starters back in, thru deep for another T.D. For the next couple years we, players and parents wanted our coach to run it up. But he didn't.
    I can certainly understand wanting to run up the score given that situation. That was a completely unsportsmanlike move on the part of the other coach. At the same time, I'd have to revert to coach Lynn Ray's axioms: "Win with class, lose with class."

    Sometimes it stinks having to be the bigger person, you know? Kudos to your team for not running up the score on them, though.