No mercy rule for 11-man football, state basketball tourney moving to Alamodome

No mercy rule for 11-man football, state basketball tourney moving to Alamodome

There will be no mercy rule in 11-man high school football.

On Tuesday, the University Interscholastic League’s Standing Committee on Athletics, by unanimous vote, quickly dismissed a pair of written proposals regarding the shortening of one-sided football contests.

Class 4A Division II state champion Aledo chalked up a 91-0 victory over Fort Worth Western Hills this past season — which led to a Western Hills parent filing charges against Aledo for bullying — igniting statewide discussion regarding a mercy rule, similar to what six-man football experiences when a team leads by 45 points or more after halftime. However, 11-man games will continue under their current format.

On Wednesday, the Legislative Council opted to move the UIL state basketball tournament away from the University of Texas’ Frank Erwin Center in Austin to the Alamodome in San Antonio, beginning this school year, pending agreement.

The reason for the move, according to the UIL, is the state tournament being held at the same time as the South by Southwest Festival, as well as other events, which make affordable hotel rooms much harder to find.

There was no decision made on whether the state championship football games would appear at a venue other than AT&T Stadium in Arlington going forward.

In other news from the two-day meetings in Austin, Class 2A — formerly Class A — will follow suit of the larger classifications beginning in the 2015-16 school year as four teams will advance to the postseason in all sports, pending approval by the UIL Legislative Council in October.

With the increasing number of teams qualifying for the football playoffs, suitable postseason venues have become more difficult to secure. Therefore, a proposal was submitted that would allow district champions in Class 6A to host their first-round playoff games, beginning in 2015. The UIL Legislative Council will vote on the matter in October.

Going into effect for the 2014-15 school year, the fourth-place cross country teams at regional meets will now advance to state. The measure passed with a 71 percent vote in favor by superintendents.

Also, ‘Game Day Cheer’ will become an official UIL sport in 2015-16 as part of a one-year pilot, or trail, program. An initial vote to start the program this coming school year was shot down, due to budget concerns.