A judge in Oklahoma has decided not to force two schools to replay a high school football playoff game that was irrevocably botched by officials.

If you skip to the 33-second mark in the video above, you'll see Frederick A. Douglass High School of Oklahoma City scoring a 58-yard catch-and-run touchdown with a minute and four seconds remaining in the Class 3A quarterfinal game against Locust Grove High School on November 28. The score would have put Douglas up 25-20, pending the extra point—but the Douglas coach got too close to the sideline and impeded the referee. That's supposed to be a five-yard penalty on the extra point or kickoff, but the refs instead called back the touchdown. Locust Grove held on to win 20-19.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association apologized, but the rules prevented an appeal of the decision. So Douglas's school district took things to court, and the playoffs have been held up since. Today, the Oklahoma judge said nah, this sucks but we can't help you:

The Oklahoma public school district then sought relief in court, saying the Douglass players had endured irreparable harm by the referee's mistake. Judge Jones last week granted a temporary restraining order, preventing Locust Grove from playing a scheduled semifinal playoff game.

In his ruling Thursday, Judge Jones wrote that the referees' error "could be considered by many as a tragedy," but said the courts should not intervene because both teams agreed to be bound by the rules of the state high school activities association.


This makes sense, sure—god knows you don't want sports parents suing for every blown call. But it might be nice if they could sue to, say, get some kind of appeals process into the rulebook?

[New York Times]