The FCF Mid-Game Rule Change

On Saturday night, the FCF changed the rules in between games.

On the surface, it was stunning. Changing the rules from week to week? Sure! It’s a new league. But changing the rules almost minute by minute? That seemed too far.

Is it though?

A few months ago I was working on a brand new website. We were messing with the front page, trying to get it all right. The layout, the color scheme, the functionality. It was a mess.

We worked on the site non stop for over a week—constantly publishing this tweak, then that tweak and then later tweaking the tweaks. It took a long time to get things right. Part of that is because you don’t know until you see it live.

The FCF is no exception here. While I do think the FCF needs to make some adjustments in terms of how they manage the sports side of things, I don’t have a problem with the tweak that they made on Saturday night.

Why? To start, it was a simple rule. They changed it so that in the last :30 seconds of a half, the clock stops after every single play. Doesn’t matter if it’s a run or pass. Complete or incomplete. The clock stops regardless. That’s it.

Does it change the strategy a little? Yeah. Is it unfair to the teams that played the first game on Saturday? Maybe a little.

But here’s the thing: the FCF has been very upfront that this year is a sort of beta test (Version 1.0 as they like to call it). The league isn’t a finished product and isn’t pretending to be. Just look at this tweet from league co-founder Patrick Dees:

So, while the sports fan in me was put off by the switch, the gamer in me understands. Be aggressive, be experimental, work out the bugs and make 2.0 that much better. This year is all about the long haul.

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