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Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2019: NFHS approves video replay for football playoffs

   Leading off today: While it doesn't necessarily mean New York will adopt the rule anytime soon, the National Federation of State High School Associations has approved the use of video replays for postseason football games beginning this fall.

   Alabama was the first state to use instant replay for football, launching a three-year trial approved by the NFHS last fall. New Jersey, Minnesota and Texas have used replay technology in postseason games.

   "The ultimate goal of each game official and each officiating crew is to get the call correct," said Todd Tharp, the assistant director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS football rules committee. "Each state association, by individual adoption, can now use replay or video monitoring during its respective postseason contests to review decisions by the on-field game officials. Each state association, if it adopts this rules revision, will also create the parameters and scope of the replay."

   The change was recommended by the NFHS Football Rules Committee at its January meeting and then approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

   The other major development saw the NFHS switch to a 40-second play clock in football, which several states had experimented with the past three seasons without an effect on the length of games.

   The 40-second clock will start at the end of the preceding play and replaces the 25-second clock that began when the ball was marked ready for play by the referee. The 25-second clock will still apply in certain situations, such as extra-point attempts and the first play following a timeout.

   Other notable changes approved:

    •Tipping the runner by intentionally using the lower leg or foot to obstruct a runner below the knees will be a penalty. A runner was not included in the previous definition of tripping.

    •The definition of "horse collar" tackle has been expanded to include the name-plate area directly below the back collar. Grabbing the name-plate area and pulling the runner to the ground is now an illegal personal contact foul.

    •It won't go into effect until 2024 in order to allow schools to cycle through their jerseys, but the entire body of the uniform number will be required to be a single solid color that clearly contrasts with the body color of the jersey.

   "The purpose of numbers on jerseys is to provide clear identification of players," said Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and staff liaison to the NFHS Football Rules Committee.

   Stokes honored: Georgetown-bound Maine-Endwell senior Parker Stokes has been named Gatorade's New York boys cross country runner of the year.

   Stokes won Nike Cross Nationals regional championship and placed 22nd at the national finals in Portland, Ore., last fall. The Section 4 champion was the runner-up i the NYSPHSAA Class B meet and captured titles at four regular-season invitationals.

   Big day on the lanes: North Rockland won its 15th consecutive Section 1 girls bowling championship Tuesday, setting tournament records for team game (1,233), total pinfall (6,950) and margin of victory (1,730).


   The 1,233 pinfall came in the tournament's opening game and immediately staked North Rockland to a 398-pin lead. By day's end, the Red Raiders had the day's top three scorers and five of the top six.

   "They just really crushed it, to be honest," North Rockland coach Joanie Nelson said. "They set the pace from the first frame and they did not look back the entire day."

   Junior Isabella Palamaro took home the singles championship with a six-game series of 1,469, including a 290-game. Teammate and defending champ Victoria Varano was just 18 pins back and Nancy Kohut placed third with an even 1,400, including a 749 block.

   Girls basketball: Class B Batavia Notre Dame stopped Elba's effort to finish the regular season undefeated, beating the state's top-ranked Class D team 59-47.

   Callie McCulley scored 23 points and had 13 rebounds in the win. Stevie Wilcox scored 12 points and had seven rebounds. Morgan Rhodes scored 10 points and Amelia McCulley scored eight.

   One and a half and done: Sammy Watson, the Rush-Henrietta grad- uate whose versatility in distances from 400 meters to five kilometers made her one of the most coveted recruits in track and field, is leaving Texas A&M early to turn pro, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

   Watson, who won the NCAA Division I title in the outdoor 800 meters last spring and turned 19 in November, said she told coaches at A&M of her decision last week. She will complete the semester but no longer compete in the college ranks.

   Instead, she'll stay on campus and train with the help of the A&M coaches, channeling her energy into attempting to qualify for the World Championships, which will be conducted Sept. 28-Oct. 6 in Qatar. Beyond that, she be competing with a deep field of candidates to represent the U.S. in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

   Watson's mother said the runner could decide what professional agency she will sign with as early as next week.

   On the move: John Pelin will retire at the end of the school year after 30 years as athletic director at Spencerport, the school district announced Wednesday.

   "I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead our fantastic teams and student athletes as well as work with and alongside our incredible support staff, teachers, coaches and administrators," Pelin said in the announcement.

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