VOTING DAY: Should football teams be able to scrimmage opponents in spring??

GHSA proposal for spring football scrimmages?

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Here’s my proposal to the GHSA’s Executive Committee — Allow high school football teams to scrimmage one opponent during the spring.

Let’s start from the beginning: Football is the biggest moneymaker for Georgia high schools and it’s not even close.

With the economic downtown, why not take advantage of football’s popularity to generate another revenue stream? Every little bit helps. There are some “broke” high school athletic programs in this state.

Here’s my proposal: Allow high school football teams to play one scrimmage in the spring.

With the right stipulations (and I need your suggestions below), I think it could create as much excitement as a game during the regular season.  Not the playoffs, but equal or greater than some games during the regular season.

What about Marist vs. St. Pius this spring? Do you think that would excite the communities of both schools? Or Brookwood vs. North Gwinnett? I could go on and on.

I see a lot of positives:

*Keeping the fan base excited about football at the halfway point between of end of last season and the start of the next.

*Motivating the players in winter workouts.

*Making spring football “more real” by having to prepare for game-like conditions.

There are negatives, such as interfering with football players who participate in spring sports, and scheduling — since it’s left up to each school to decide on the dates for spring drills. And yes, injuries, but I would think no more than the regular spring practices.

However, it’s nothing that couldn’t be worked out in order to (1) generate revenue and (2) generate excitement about football.

Some of the rules:

*The spring game would be voluntary. If a coach does not want to scrimmage another team, that’s fine.

*The opponent would have  to be located within 50 miles because of travel costs.

*The GHSA would set aside a specific time period for “spring practice and one scrimmage.” It would go something like this: You have to do this during the last two weeks of May (to avoid interfering with spring sports as best as possible) and have the spring scrimmage on the last Friday or Saturday of May. If anything is held outside of that timeline, then the school cannot do the scrimmage.

*If an athlete is still active in a spring sport, he could not participate in the football scrimmage. Or whatever rule each school has in place for that situation now, when football players are doing another sport close to the time of spring practice.

With schools struggling with money for athletics, I’m following the money trail. High school football is money in Georgia for many schools.

What is YOUR opinion? Please post below.

37 comments Add your comment


April 25th, 2011
2:37 am


April 25th, 2011
4:26 am

why would you want to scrimmage another team it does hepl sales but does it help the tem
the only thing they should change is teams should have 3 weeks to practice for the spring game.

Taylor Wooten

April 25th, 2011
8:10 am

Actually, many school systems and athletic programs are broke given the giant salaries they pay to coaches and administrators.

Look it up:


April 25th, 2011
8:13 am

I like the idea, or if not a scrimmage, at least let 2 teams come together and “practice” against each other. It’s gets old hitting your same old teammates day in and day out.

Atlanta Blue

April 25th, 2011
9:33 am

Absolutely not. Most spring practices don’t come close to preparing players for game conditions. Many schools only practice in shells with very limited contact. Most teams are missing key players due to spring sports.

This just invites coaches to pressure star players to become one sport athletes. Even if not pressured, kids will place pressure on themselves to not bother with a spring sport in order to be able to play in a single, meaningless scrimmage.

Spring practice is about getting younger players used to the nomenclature and a limited practice schedule. You idea that it must take place in the last two weeks of May places it right in the middle of spring semester finals at many schools, including the Marist – St Pius scrimmage you suggested.

Football is NOT a year round sport. Many states are doing the exact opposite of your suggestion and either dropping, or never allowing, spring football practice.

I love football. I coach the sport, and am involved with it on numerous levels. But high schools don’t need a spring scrimmage, which would quickly elevate into a spring “game”. There’s a reason fall practrice starts 4 weeks before the first game. Two weeks of spring practice is NOT enough to prepare players for game conditions.


April 25th, 2011
9:38 am

Georgia high schools were permitted to play spring games against other opponents for a few years in the late seventies. Schools enjoyed doing it and the crowds were decent.

The last two weeks in May wouldn’t be the best time, however. Those are the weeks when schools are holding final exams.


April 25th, 2011
9:38 am

I grew up in Alabama where schools held spring jamborees. A school would host 1 or 2 others and the 3 teams would play against each other in 2-quarter scrimmages. Two teams would play a full game. If teams played their natural rivals, the games were pretty big, but as you mentioned some of the star power was missing due to spring sports. It’s hit-or-miss on that front, but the idea is good. A spring showcase of some type, kinda like Midnight Madness for basketball, is another option.


April 25th, 2011
10:28 am

Like the idea but I’m afraid that spring sport schedules, differences in school calendars, spring break, spring practice,etc would make this very hard to come to fruition.

Mr. Johnson

April 25th, 2011
11:25 am

I played 4 sports in high school(football, basketball, baseball, and track) and I still had time to practice spring ball with my high school team. My coaches understood the priority for each sport and they respected each other. We played 2 spring games when I was in high school and I still played in baseball games and ran my events @ track meets. The kids won’t be forced to choose to stop playing spring sports if the right plan is put in place.

Rennie Atkinson

April 25th, 2011
11:41 am

NOOOOOO!!!! I have been coaching for 34 years and it is my experience that you cannot get players in “game shape” in 8 or 9 days in the spring. That is why there are such strict limitations on summer practice. While the competitive spirit in me would prefer ending the spring with a scrimmage, high school sports are about the kids and too many of them would suffer needless injuries.


April 25th, 2011
12:44 pm

Why not just make football a year-round sport and play 40-something games a year. Ohh, and since the kids don’t have to focus on school work we could play three or four games a week in the summer and have 60 or 70 game seasons.


April 25th, 2011
12:58 pm

@guwinster thats fantasy talk and I love off season hitting the weight room getting stronger


April 25th, 2011
4:36 pm

I was in high school in Dekalb county in the early to mid 80’s. We had a spring game every year. It gave you something to look forward to. We played other teams from the county and usually we played a team in a higher classification than us. Seemed to work well for us. The only interference with other sports was when a team was in the state playoffs.

Coweta County

April 25th, 2011
5:36 pm

Georgia high schools are behind Florida and Alabama. Let them play a Jamboree in the spring. A total of four quarters. Wake up GHSA. Crowds will come.

some sense

April 25th, 2011
5:40 pm

A no-brainer, yes, but not at the level of Marist v. Pius, B’wood v. P’view, etc. Way too much emotion to allow fans to say, after the game, “Yeah, Pius/Marist won, but Marist/Pius didn’t have all their players (baseball, track).”


April 25th, 2011
6:12 pm

It’s a great idea to have spring football tilts – wouldn’t it be great to see Tucker vs Parkview or Marist vs Brookwood?


April 25th, 2011
7:24 pm

what i really like is 7 0n 7 we get to play about 5 games everydy at 7 0n 7 omg that was fun


April 26th, 2011
8:43 am

I think a jamboree would be great like we did in the late 70’s. Three teams play one half against each other. It let the teams see how they stacked up against other teams in the area. Play teams that are not in your region but that are close geographically to cut down the cost.


April 26th, 2011
9:54 am

Fla has spring jamboree games each spring and draw large crouds GOOD IDEA goot time to train new officials as we did

Jag count

April 26th, 2011
9:57 am

STephenson vs mlk

Florida Boy

April 26th, 2011
10:39 am

Florida has been doing it for years, but then again kids practice or play on traveling 7 on 7 teams almost year round down there. Football and Track are king in FLA.


April 26th, 2011
1:21 pm

“TAYLOR WOOTEN” your a total IDIOT!!!!!! Coaches are WAY under paid in the H.S. ranks!!!!! But some administrators are over paid but they have put there tine in, just like in any other business.


April 26th, 2011
2:12 pm

This might interfer with AAU Basketball since we play all year long.

One On One With The Great One

April 26th, 2011
9:21 pm

Will not be a good idea beecause your only allowed 10 days (M-F) in spring practice. Futhermore spring practice is to determine depth charts to see what your team is looking like. Who impresses you as a coach and who need to still get some work in before the season starts. Spring practice is a starting point for alot of programs who have no idea of what they have. Some programs lost alot of good football players. While other programs just reloaded.

One On One With The Great One

April 26th, 2011
9:25 pm

Stephenson vs MLK just don’t do any justice in spring game. That’s a rivarly that need to settled on the field when it count.
Stephenson vs NSWR or PTR or Brookwood…… MLK vs Buford or N. Gwinnett or Hillgrove.. Now your starting to raise some interest 7 new rivalies


April 26th, 2011
9:42 pm

I am very much in support of this.

Old Gold Panther

April 27th, 2011
1:52 am

I don’t like the idea and futhermore I don’t think coaches would agree with it. Yea it would be great for the fans and revenue but not great for the kids. Spring is a time meant to learn and teach the basics, without all the pressure of having to play in a real game. Its a time to evaluate talent and depth. If coaches had to play a real game at the end of spring, I promise a lot of the younger players would miss out on valuable instruction time b/c you would be focusing on upperclassmen; so you could win. Like many have said with the restrictions that are in place on winter workouts and conditioning, It wouldn’t be fair to ask these kids to play at that type of level in only 9 days. An Intrasquad scrimmage will not have the same intensity of playing a cross town rival for bragging rights.


April 27th, 2011
12:43 pm

I agree with the coach of 34 years and Old Gold Panther. I think the Spring jamboree is to much to put on the players. They need to be getting in football shape, teaching the fundamentals, and evaluating underclassmen. Too many coaches would be tempted to get ready for the game and overlook those three essentials.


April 27th, 2011
3:50 pm

A spring scrimmage or a jamboree is a fine idea. I don’t think it would be just for the fans, it would be a reward for the kids. After all they are not practicing in this heat because they don’t want to play. You wouldn’t put together a real game plan because it is not a real game. Any coach worth their salt would play as many kids as they could not just their starters. It would be fun for the kids and not a burden to them at all.


April 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

i really think the school vs eachother is for fall leave it ass dat

tater tot

April 28th, 2011
2:38 am

Back in the early 80’s when i was at Lowndes we use to have a spring scrimmage and usually always played the Cairo Syrupmakers. It gave us something to look forward to for the upcoming football season.

cat doc

April 28th, 2011
10:12 am

I like the Blue and white game we have. Spring ball is what it is, pratice and seeing where your at.


April 28th, 2011
1:09 pm

They can wait till summer Passing League’s…..


April 28th, 2011
3:25 pm

this is one of the dumber ideas bubba and scooter could’ve had.
It’s spring, let them play something else.
How, in any possible way, does this benefit the 85-90% of kids who never play organized football after high school?
enough is enough


May 3rd, 2011
8:15 am

The have has spring games in Florida of decades. It gives the players a goal and game experience that the players need in the fall.


May 3rd, 2011
8:16 am

They have has spring games in Florida of decades. It gives the players a goal and game experience that the players need in the fall.


May 4th, 2011
12:04 pm

Louisana has spring jamborees as well. 3 or 4 team scrimmages. Everyone looks forward to spring games.. I think it’s a excellent idea..