Friday nights are for high school football

Resolution requests college and pro teams schedule games other days

■ Chronicle News Service

Remember the film, “Friday Night Lights?” It was about high school football, and the importance and reinforcement of community, as the town gathered every Friday night to support their high school players.
As more and more college and professional football teams begin to schedule their games also for Friday nights, it has prompted the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to adopt a resolution that urges schools and teams at the college and professional levels to honor that longstanding tradition and schedule their games on other days. The resolution states:
“Be it resolved that every Friday night during the fall in America is High School Football Night. Be it further resolved that college and professional football teams should refrain from scheduling contests on Friday nights. Such restraint would be an investment in their own future success. It would also demonstrate that high school football has value well beyond the field of play. Schools, communities, and scholastic teams for girls and boys all benefit when football is strong. Therefore, the National Federation of State High School Associations urges all parties to observe the central premise of this resolution.”
This year, more than 50 major college football games will be played on Friday nights, including eight on Sept. 1 – the Friday before Labor Day weekend. Most recently, the Big Ten Conference joined a growing number of conferences that scheduled games on Friday night.
“The value of tradition cannot be understated,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “Friday nights offer communities a traditional time and place to congregate and support their students. If a major college football game was scheduled in the area on a Friday night, it could affect attendance at the high school game or cause the game to be moved to another day. In addition, many of the Friday night college games are televised, which could result in lower attendance at high school contests nationwide. We believe retaining Friday nights for high school contests is a plus for colleges as well as they reap the benefits of healthy programs at the high school level.”
The NFHS is based in Indianapolis and is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. The organization writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level and reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs. The NFHS is the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs; conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; and serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training. Visit www.nfhs.org for more information.

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