Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

High School Player Penalized For Spectacular Touchdown Run

That's L.J. Scott of Marion (Ohio) Harding High rumbling for a 50-yard touchdown run last Friday night against Bowsher (Ohio). You'll notice that an official threw a penalty flag. The penalty was against Scott. His run was too good for high school football.

Scott, a Louisville recruit, had hurdled a defender, and hurdling is specifically prohibited in high school football. The rulebook for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) defines it as "an attempt by a player to jump (hurdle) with one or both feet or knees foremost over an opponent who is contacting the ground with no part of his body except one or both feet." Just so we're clear.

Plays like Scott's have been penalized before, and because they keep getting flagged, they've drawn the attention of the NFHS. As recently as last year, per USA Today, the NFHS considered changing the rule because of all the cool hurdling highlights making the rounds. Ultimately, the NFHS chose to keep the rule in place. This was its explanation:

Recently, national and local media have identified some of these plays at the collegiate and professional levels as “spectacular feats” and glorified the individual’s athletic ability instead of pointing out the heightened potential for harm. Little regard has been given to the fact that attempting to “hurdle” a defender increases the risk of injury to both the hurdler and tackler! The NFHS SMAC requested that this rule not be changed and backed up its request by showing several incidences where players were severely injured while attempting this act! The NFHS Football Rules Committee concurred with the SMAC and did not change the hurdling rule. In addition, to focus on the dangers associated with hurdling, it has been included as a Point of Emphasis for the 2012 season. The emphasis on this illegal act supports the committee’s ongoing attempt to minimize the risk of injuries in high school football. Coaches must teach their players of the inherent dangers associated with this illegal act, and game officials must call it when observed.


L.J. Scott was assessed a 15-yard penalty for an illegal contact foul.

[Bob's Blitz]

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`