High school football is gridiron football played by high school teams
in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular
interscholastic sports in both countries. It is also popular amongst
High school teams in Europe.
High school football began in the late 19th century, concurrent with
the start of many college football programs. In the late 19th and
early 20th century, many college and high school teams played against
one another. Other traditions of high school football such as pep
rallies, marching bands, mascots, and homecomings are mirrored from
college football. No true minor league farm organizations exist in
American football. Therefore, high school football is generally
considered to be the third tier of
American football in the United
States, behind professional and college competition. It is the first
level of play in which a player will accumulate statistics, which will
determine his chances of competing at the college level, and
ultimately the professional level if he is talented enough.
2 Sanctioning organizations
2.1 Home schooling and high school football
3.1 Playoffs and post-season
3.1.1 Canadian post-season games
High school football in Europe
Junior varsity and freshman teams
6 College recruiting
8 All-star games
11 Coverage by broadcast media
11.1 Portrayals in movies, television, and literature
12 Concussions and safety concerns
13 See also
15 External links
A high school football game in Texas.
National Federation of State High School Associations
National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
establishes the rules of high school football in the United States.
Two states, Texas and Massachusetts, use
NCAA playing rules
except as shown below.
With their common ancestry, the NFHS rules of high school football are
largely similar to the college game, though with some important
The four quarters are each 12 minutes in length, as opposed to 15
minutes in college and professional football. (
Texas uses the NFHS
Massachusetts uses 11-minute quarters except in
playoffs, where they are 10 minutes because of the possibility of
playing three games in 10 days.)
Kickoffs take place at the kicking team's 40-yard line, as opposed to
the 35 in college and the NFL. (Both
adopted the NFHS rule.)
If an attempted field goal is missed it is treated as a punt, normally
it would be a touchback and the opposing team will start at the
20-yard line. However, if it does not enter the end zone, it can be
downed or returned as a normal punt.
Any kick crossing the goal line is automatically a touchback; kicks
cannot be returned out of the end zone.
Pass interference by the defense results in a 15-yard penalty, but no
automatic first down.
Pass interference by the offense results in a 15-yard penalty, from
the previous spot, and no loss of down.
The defense cannot return an extra-point attempt for a score.
Any defensive player that encroaches the neutral zone, regardless of
whether the ball was snapped or not, commits a "dead ball" foul for
encroachment. 5-yard penalty from the previous spot.
Prior to 2013, offensive pass interference resulted in a 15-yard
penalty AND a loss of down. The loss of down provision has been
deleted from the rules starting in 2013. In college and the NFL,
offensive pass interference is only 10 yards.
The use of overtime, and the type of overtime used, is up to the
individual state association. The NFHS offers a suggested overtime
procedure based on the
Kansas Playoff, but does not make its
Intentional grounding may be called even if the quarterback is outside
the tackle box.
The home team must wear dark-colored jerseys, and the visiting team
must wear white jerseys. In the NFL, the home team has choice of
jersey color, and in the NCAA, the home team may wear white with
approval of the visiting team.
At least one unique high school rule has been adopted by college
football. In 1996, the overtime rules originally utilized by Kansas
high school teams were adopted by the NCAA, although the
NCAA has made
two major modifications: (a) starting each possession from the 25-yard
line, and (b) starting with the third overtime period, requiring teams
to attempt a two-point conversion following a touchdown.
Thirty-four states have a mercy rule that comes into play during
one-sided games after a prescribed scoring margin is surpassed at
halftime or any point thereafter. The type of mercy rule varies from
state to state, with many using a "continuous clock" after the scoring
margin is reached (wherein, except for specific situations, the clock
keeps running on plays where the clock would normally stop), while
other states end the game once the margin is reached or passed. For
Texas uses a 45-point mercy rule (to stop the game) only in
six-man football; for 11-man football there is no automatic stoppage
but the coaches may mutually agree to use a continuous clock.
Most Canadian schools use
Canadian football rules adapted for the high
school game. The exception is British Columbia, which uses NFHS rules
as used in the United States.
Each state has at least one sanctioning organization for public
schools. In many states a separate organization governs
interscholastic athletics at most private schools. Each sanctioning
body divides its member schools up into anywhere from two to eight
size classifications based on the number of students enrolled at a
school (so that schools are assured to compete against other schools
of comparable size) and then each classification is further divided
into geographic regions; the nomenclature and number of divisions vary
from state to state. A school's size classification can change if its
enrollment rises or declines over the years. At the smallest schools,
particularly in rural communities or smaller private schools,
variations on the game using six, eight, or nine players per side
instead of the traditional eleven (or twelve in Canada) are
Home schooling and high school football
Homeschooled students may also participate in high school football
through independent or freelance teams, which compete against small
private (or in a few cases, public) schools. In some states, such as
Florida, state law allows homeschooled students to compete in
interscholastic athletics for their local school district. Thus,
homeschooled Tim Tebow, who was one of the top quarterback prospects
in the nation, was able to play for the nationally ranked public Nease
High School after he and his mother rented an apartment in that school
National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations (NFHS)
Alabama High School Athletic Association
Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA)
Alaska School Activities Association
Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA)
Arizona Interscholastic Association
Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA)
Arkansas Activities Association
Arkansas Activities Association (AAA)
California Interscholastic Federation
California Interscholastic Federation (CIF)
Colorado High School Activities Association
Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA)
Connecticut Association of Schools
Connecticut Association of Schools (CIAC)
Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association
Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA)
District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association
District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA)
Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA)
Georgia High School Association
Georgia High School Association (GHSA)
Hawaii High School Athletic Association
Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA)
Idaho High School Activities Association
Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA)
Illinois High School Association
Illinois High School Association (IHSA)
Indiana High School Athletic Association
Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA)
Iowa High School Athletic Association
Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) /
Iowa Girls High
School Athletic Union (IGHSAU)
Kansas State High School Activities Association
Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA)
Kentucky High School Athletic Association
Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA)
Louisiana High School Athletic Association
Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA)
Maine Principals' Association
Maine Principals' Association (MPA)
Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association
Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA)
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA)
Michigan High School Athletic Association
Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA)
Minnesota State High School League
Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL)
Mississippi High School Activities Association
Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA)
Missouri State High School Activities Association
Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA)
Montana High School Association
Montana High School Association (MHSA)
Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA)
Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association
Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA)
New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association
New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA)
New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association
New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA)
New Mexico Activities Association
New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA)
New York State Public High School Athletic Association
New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA)
North Carolina High School Athletic Association
North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA)
North Dakota High School Activities Association
North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA)
Ohio High School Athletic Association
Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA)
Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association
Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA)
Oregon School Activities Association
Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA)
Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association
Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA)
Rhode Island Interscholastic League
Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL)
South Carolina High School League
South Carolina High School League (SCHSL)
South Dakota High School Activities Association
South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA)
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA)
University Interscholastic League
University Interscholastic League (UIL)
Utah High School Activities Association
Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA)
Vermont Principals' Association
Vermont Principals' Association (VPA)
Virginia High School League
Virginia High School League (VHSL)
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA)
West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission
West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC)
Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA)
Wyoming High School Activities Association
Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA)
High school football stadium in Manhattan, Kansas
Training for the upcoming season usually starts with weightlifting and
other conditioning activities, such as specialized speed and agility
training. In some states, this begins a few weeks after the end of the
previous season, and in others as late as August. Some states allow
seven on seven scrimmages, while others prohibit formal practices
during most of the summer. Near the end of the summer in mid-August,
double sessions tend to begin and usually last for one week or until
school starts. After double sessions end, regular season practices
begin with daily sessions each week day afternoon except on game day.
Practices are often held on Saturday as well, but almost never on
The regular season typically consists of ten games in most states;
Kansas is one of the few states which limits teams to nine. Teams in
Minnesota usually play eight, while teams in New York typically
schedule only seven. The first game of the season is usually in early
September, or late August, and the final regular season game is
usually in mid to late October, with the end of the season varying by
state and climate. Teams may have one or more bye weeks during the
regular season. Larger schools (especially those with successful
programs) can often draw attendances in the thousands, even for
regular season games, and in some cases may play the game at a college
or professional stadium to accommodate the expected large crowds.
The vast majority of high school football games are scheduled on
Friday nights, with Thursday evenings and Saturdays being less heavily
used. Alternate days are most common in larger school districts where
the facilities are used by multiple schools, or where the playing
field is not illuminated for nighttime use due to financial
limitations, local regulations, or neighborhood opposition against
Playoffs and post-season
Prior to the 1970s, many states crowned state champions through polls,
but playoff systems have become nearly universal. Since then, most
states have steadily increased the number of teams eligible to
participate and total number of classifications. Though the playoff
scheme and number of teams eligible varies, regional champions will
compete in elimination playoff rounds – in a tradition borrowed from
pro football rather than college – to determine a state champion for
each size classification.
Only one state, New Jersey, does not crown state public-school
champions, only determining regional state champions, but does crown
state champions for non-public schools.
Massachusetts did not
establish a state championship until 2014, previously crowning only
regional champions as in New Jersey. New York's championships are
nominally statewide, but only include upstate New York because the
New York City
New York City and
Long Island (which cover the
majority of the state's population) abstain from the state
tournaments. In many large cities, including Pittsburgh, New York
City, and Los Angeles, as well as some very small districts in places
such as Western New York, public high schools compete in their own
"city leagues" and may or may not ever play opponents outside of them.
At the other extreme are states such as Illinois,
Louisiana and West
Virginia, in which regional championships do not exist; the state's
playoffs are seeded on a statewide basis.
The championship games are usually held at a neutral site, usually a
college or NFL stadium needed to accommodate the larger crowds.
College and professional fields are also usually better equipped to
handle inclement weather which is common since state championship
games are typically held in late November to the middle of December.
In the vast majority of states, all championship games are played at
one site, such as the
UNI-Dome in Iowa, War Memorial Stadium in
Arkansas, Pratt & Whitney Stadium in Connecticut, Camp Randall
Stadium in Wisconsin,
Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Georgia (formerly the
Ford Field in Michigan, the
DakotaDome in South Dakota,
Kroger Field in Kentucky, the
Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Louisiana,
Lucas Oil Stadium
Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana, Memorial Stadium in Nebraska, the
Carrier Dome in New York, and AT&T Stadium in Texas.
Alabama previously played all of its championship games at Legion
Field, but at the urging of
Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, the
games now alternate between
Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and
Jordan–Hare Stadium in Auburn. Mississippi, which previously held
its games at
Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium
Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, has
done the same, alternating between
Vaught–Hemingway Stadium in
Davis Wade Stadium
Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville.
Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado,
New Mexico are among the states
which play only one championship game per site.
The current record for number of state high school football
championships is held by Washington High School in Sioux Falls, South
Dakota, which is 37 as of 2010.
Some publications and internet sites release nationwide rankings based
on polls or mathematical formulas which take into account various
factors like average margin of victory and strength of schedule.
Schools that finish atop these rankings, particularly the USA Today
poll, are sometimes considered to be the national champions.
Outside of the playoff tournaments, high school football on
Thanksgiving has also historically been popular; originally the
traditional end of the high school football season, Thanksgiving
football has become less common because of state tournaments (it is
still widely popular in some states, particularly in New England).
Because of its overlap with the playoff season, many teams forgo their
rights to a playoff tournament to participate in exhibition rivalry
games that are held over Thanksgiving weekend. Others will play a
rivalry game only when they do not qualify for the playoffs. Many of
the state championship tournaments are purposely scheduled to conclude
on the weekend of Thanksgiving.
Canadian post-season games
In Ontario, high schools play in bowl games similar to college
football in the United States. Until 2012, the games were determined
by geographical location as opposed to a team's record. There were
five bowl games for five different geographical regions; the Northern
Bowl, the Golden Horseshoe Bowl, the National Capital Bowl, the
Western Bowl and the Metro Bowl. For instance, the National Capital
Bowl champion is determined through contests between teams from the
Bay of Quinte, Simcoe County, Kawartha Lakes, Ottawa Valley and East
Ontario or EOSSAA (Eastern
Ontario Secondary School
Athletic Association) champion is determined by the champions from
divisions within itself such as KASSAA (Kingston Area Secondary School
Since 2013, the
Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations has
held an annual bowl game series at
Tim Hortons Field
Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton,
Ontario featuring random pairings between the champions of the OFSAA's
18 member associations. Since 2015, the festival has featured nine
bowls: Western Bowl – SWOSSAA/ WOSSAA, Golden Horseshoe Bowl –
GHAC/ SOSSA, Metro Bowl – TDCAA/ TDSSAA, Central Bowl – CWOSSA/
ROPSSAA, Simcoe Bowl – GBSSA/ YRAA, National Capital Bowl –
NCSSAA/ EOSSAA, Northern Bowl – NOSSA/ NWOSSAA, Eastern Bowl –
LOSSA/ COSSA, and Independent Bowl – CISAA/ 2nd Entry with one of
two associations drawn to compete one year, and the other
automatically competing in that bowl game in the following year. The
remaining nine associations are drawn by lottery to determine their
Other provinces typically divide schools by size and hold playoffs in
a similar manner to those contested in US states.
High school football in Europe
DoDEA Europe high schools offering football will participate in
regular season competition facing their Division opponents. In
Division I the top four teams at the end of the season will advance to
the semi-final games with the winners of those games advancing to the
championship game. Division II will be divided into two conference
with the top 4 in each conference participating in quarter-final
matchups, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals and the final
two teams remaining participating in the championships. The FINAL FOUR
Championships will be held in the
Kaiserslautern Military Community
following the play-offs.
See: Head coach#
High school football and Category:
High school football
coaches in the United States
Junior varsity and freshman teams
Junior varsity team
Offensive line for Mission Secondary School lines up against Defensive
line for Hugh Boyd Secondary in JV game played at MSS September 17,
2015. MSS is Located in Mission, British Columbia, Canada.
Many larger high schools also have a separate junior varsity team
along with their regular or varsity team. In many cases, these teams
– sometimes called the "sophomore team" – are made up of
sophomores and some freshmen, although some underclassmen will be
called up to play varsity, especially to replace injured varsity
players or if the underclassman player is exceptionally talented. At
larger schools, there often will be a third team for freshmen (called
the freshman team) or, in unified school districts, a "modified" team
that includes freshmen and middle school students.
Typically, there are no playoffs for junior varsity teams, although
many leagues will award a championship title to the team with the best
record. Overtime rules are often disregarded, meaning it is possible
for games to end in a tie.
Junior varsity teams usually have the same
schedule as the varsity, with many games played on the same night and
at the same site as the varsity game, with the JV game serving as a
preliminary contest before the varsity game.
Some schools also field a true junior varsity team, which are simply
made up of junior and senior players who typically do not see playing
time in the varsity game (except during the final minutes of a
one-sided game); some freshmen and sophomores will also play in these
games, as will a few juniors who start but either are playing in a
different position or will be expected to have leadership roles as
seniors. In addition to providing opportunities to play in a timed
contest, coaches may use these types of contests to see how well
underclassmen and juniors play together, since they would replace
varsity players lost to graduation; and to assess the talent and
actual game-situation abilities of those players who rarely get to
play in varsity games. While sometimes these games will be played on
the same night as varsity games, true JV teams often play on a
different night and may have a separate schedule composed of
conference and non-conference teams.
Main article: College recruiting
In all states, the HS football season will have ended by late
December, but the recruiting process by which colleges offer
scholarships to high school seniors often starts in the summer, before
the school year and football season begin. Physical assessment is an
increasingly important part of the recruiting process. Football camps
are held at college campuses where a large number of potential
recruits can be evaluated simultaneously in various speed and skills
drills. Players are evaluated based on running the 40-yard dash,
agility shuttle, vertical jump and the number of repetitions on the
bench press that they can perform at a given weight. Recently, the
SPARQ rating has become a popular composite metric to evaluate overall
athleticism. Based on performance over the course of their careers and
at camps, colleges will typically take potential recruits on tours of
the campus and athletic facilities, or the college may have its team's
coach visit the recruit at home or at school.
While all colleges do much of their recruiting from local and in-state
high schools, where they can network with HS coaches and booster
clubs, the nation's top college programs can easily recruit athletes
from around the country. Some colleges have historically been aided in
this regard through their prominence within their religious
affiliation, such as Notre Dame or BYU.
Students who played for larger high schools, or who competed in
nationally televised matches, have a natural advantage towards
recruitment, while players who competed at smaller schools – such as
most states' 1A and 2A categories – or in states where high school
football is not perceived as being of a high caliber will have their
skills and achievements judged versus the lower-caliber opposition
they faced and, as such, are rarely considered as top prospects.
Occasionally, though, a student at a smaller school will receive a
full scholarship; an extreme example of this is Jehuu Caulcrick, a
fullback who received a full scholarship to
Michigan State University
despite playing high school in Clymer, New York, one of the smallest
school districts in the state (and a state where high school football
is not seen as particularly high caliber). Caulcrick went on to have a
successful college career and several years as a journeyman
professional, ending his football career as a member of his hometown
team, the Buffalo Bills.
Though it is an expensive project, high school football players often
increase their visibility by sending out video highlights of their
playing skills to college recruiters. If a student receives no
scholarship offers, they may still attempt to make a college team by
becoming a "walk on" and paying their own tuition in the hopes that
they can make the team and possibly receive a scholarship. Others will
try out for a non-scholarship team, such as a Division III school, or
a two-year junior college team. The latter option is also popular with
students with academic or behavioral issues that would prevent them
from playing at a four-year college.
While the vast majority of high school football players will not even
be considered for a scholarship offer, players who receive nationwide
attention will invariably receive scholarship offers from more than
one school and will often hold a press conference to announce their
final selection. "All Star" exhibition games like the U.S. Army
All-American Bowl, which is televised nationally by NBC, give the
nation's top prospects the opportunity to publicly announce their
college selection or to provide one last opportunity to showcase their
talents to college recruiters. By National Signing Day, the first
Wednesday in February, most top recruits will have already signed
non-binding letters of intent or verbally committed with colleges.
List of high school football rivalries (100 years+) and List of
high school football rivalries (less than 100 years old)
High school football games in the United States
A number of all-star football games are played among high school
football players in the United States. The caliber of these games
varies widely; games such as the aforementioned U.S. Army All-American
Bowl tend to draw some of the most renowned high school players in the
country, while smaller regional contests such as the Big 30 All-Star
Football Game may only draw from a small region.
International Federation of American Football
International Federation of American Football sponsors the
biennial U19 World Championship for high school-aged players around
the world. As with all IFAF tournaments, players play for national
teams; the U.S. and Canada national teams have alternated as champions
and runners-up throughout the tournament's existence.
High school football trophies and awards in the United
See also: Category:Sports mascots in the United States and Native
American mascot controversy
As with college and professional football teams, most high school
teams in every state have a mascot or team name. Many are generic
allusions conveying an image sense of strength, speed, or bravery.
Thus, pluralized team names such as Tigers, Eagles, Wildcats, Trojans,
and Warriors are fairly common throughout the country. Other team
names, however, have a historical connection to the town or area where
the high school or school district is located, such as a locally
important industry. For example, Yuma High School in
Yuma, Arizona is
known as the "Criminals" due to the school's historic connection to
the infamous Yuma Territorial Prison. Many new schools, or schools
that had merged with other schools, have allowed their students to
"vote" on a new school mascot or team nickname.
Coverage by broadcast media
Because of high school football's mostly limited regional appeal, and
because most games take place during prime time (albeit during the
Friday night death slot), television exposure of high school football
on both a local and national basis tends to be limited to championship
games only, or for the regular season to the lower-tier stations in a
market such as a
MyNetworkTV affiliate or independent television
station where no critical programming would be pre-empted. Local
public access cable television and local radio stations often air
regular season contests, and in some cases, the school's own radio
station (or a nearby college) broadcasts the game using student
announcers. One such example is San Diego's Prep Pigskin Report. High
school football is often an integral part of the modern full service
radio format, which centers on local information; radio's prime times
are traditionally earlier in the day, and there is far less risk of
preemption, since many stations would otherwise be automated or off
the air during the times high school football games are played.
There has also been a marked increase in recent years of web-based
media covering high school sporting events. Examples include Mid
America Broadcasting in Indiana, Champs Sports Network and MSA Sports
Network in Western Pennsylvania, MSBN in Minnesota, and BSports.org in
Washington. In many television markets, local stations will air 30 or
60-minute 'scoreboard' shows following their late Friday newscast with
scores and highlights from games in their coverage area. Many national
media outlets have been producing national high school football
rankings, including High School Football America, which has been
releasing its Top 25 since 2011.
Despite increased national media attention, some states restrict the
broadcast of high school games. One example is the University
Interscholastic League, which governs public school sports in
Texas. The UIL has a long-standing ban on television
broadcasting of high school football games on Friday nights, believing
that doing so could hurt ticket sales (radio broadcasts are allowed,
though). Because of this, several games that have
been broadcast on
Fox Sports Net
Fox Sports Net in recent years have had to
be played on either Thursday night or on Saturday to avoid the UIL's
Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 and Public Law 89-800, which
govern the antitrust exemptions given to the National Football League,
prohibit the broadcasting of NFL games within 75 miles of any high
school football game on Friday nights between September and early
December. Because most populated areas of the United States have at
least one high school football game within a 75-mile radius, and
because broadcasting is an integral part of the NFL's business model
(roughly half of the league's revenue comes from television
contracts), this effectively prohibits the playing of NFL games in
competition with high school football. (These rules do not apply
during preseason, when Friday night games are common, nor does it
apply at the end of the season, though the only time regular season
games are played on Friday in the NFL is on Christmas.) Only recently
have national sports television channels fully capitalized on this
rule; since 2005, the
ESPN family of networks (usually the
ESPNU and online broadcaster ESPN3, although the
main channel also shows occasional games) has aired regular season
matchups between nationally ranked teams under the High School
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 1 also included high school football in
its lineup when it launched in 2013.
Portrayals in movies, television, and literature
Hollywood portrayals of high school football, whether comedies or
dramas, often portray the game at the center of a small town's
existence and the focus of its attention. Also see Jock (subculture)
All the Right Moves – A 1983 film about a western Pennsylvania
football player desperate to earn the scholarship that would enable
him to escape his economically depressed town.
American Dreams – "JJ" Pryor is a star high school football running
back in the show, and many of the early episodes centered on his
Quarterback Princess – starring Helen Hunt. A movie based on a small
town girl whose family moved into a football town and becomes the
local high school's starting quarterback.
The Best of Times – A 1986 film based on an actual rivalry and game
between small town Taft High School Rockets (Wildcats) and the larger
and highly successful
Bakersfield High School
Bakersfield High School Tigers (Drillers) who
actually have the California high school record for most wins, most
section titles, and most State titles.
Bleachers – A novel published in 2003. It tells of the fictitious
Messina High School football team and its coach, Eddie Rake. Rake with
418 wins, 61 losses, and 13 state championships under his belt is on
his deathbed, and many of his former players return to Messina to say
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game – A 2006 book by Michael Lewis,
partly on the evolution of the offensive left tackle position and
partly on the life of Michael Oher, including his high school career,
his adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, and his college
recruitment. The book spawned the 2009 film The Blind Side, which
focused more on Oher;
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal of
Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Dazed and Confused – A 1993 film set in
Texas in 1976. It is not a
true high school football movie, but the main character Randy "Pink"
Floyd, played by Jason London, is the starting quarterback at his high
school and most of his friends play football as well.
Facing the Giants
Facing the Giants – A 2006 film revolving around high school
football coach Grant Taylor and his issues on and off the field.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Fast Times at Ridgemont High – A 1982 film not specifically about
football, but whose minor character Charles Jefferson is a football
star. During a big game, Charles unleashes his fury on rival "Lincoln
High School", as he supposed Lincoln students had vandalized his
prized car (actually the result of reckless driving by Ridgemont's
Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream – a book about the
1988 season of
Permian High School in Odessa,
Texas as they made a
surprising run toward the state championship. In the end, however, the
underdogs lost in the state semi-finals to Carter High School of
Dallas. This book ultimately spawned two other media properties:
Friday Night Lights – A 2004 film whose plot is very similar to that
of the book.
Friday Night Lights – A television series that aired 2006–2010,
and was inspired by the above film.
Go Tigers! – A 2001 documentary on the rivalry between two Ohio high
Massillon Washington High School
Massillon Washington High School and Canton McKinley
Gridiron Gang – A 2006 film about using football to rehabilitate
Johnny Be Good
Johnny Be Good – A 1988 comedy film about the pressures of
Lucas – A 1986 film about the coming of age of a small,
intellectually gifted boy; one subplot revolves around his efforts to
join the school's football team.
Married... with Children
Married... with Children – A 1987–1998 TV series which featured Al
Bundy, a middle-aged, Chicago-area shoe salesman whose lifelong claim
to fame was playing running back at (fictitious) Polk High and scoring
"four touchdowns in one game."
Must Win: A Season of Survival for a Town and Its Team by Drew Jubera
published in 2012.
Valdosta High School
Valdosta High School in Valdosta, Georgia.
Nike's Football is Everything television and print ad campaign of 2006
featuring numerous NFL stars and coaches as members of the fictional
Marlin Briscoe High School Hawks football team. Requires Macromedia
Radio – A 2003 film based on the true story about T.L. Hanna High
School football coach Harold Jones and a mentally challenged young man
James Robert Kennedy, nicknamed "Radio", who becomes the team manager.
Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans – A 2000 film based on the actual story of the
1971 team of
T. C. Williams High School
T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Season – a 1999
ESPN television documentary of eastern
Pennsylvania's North Penn High School.
MTV reality television documentary about the 2005 and
2006 football seasons at Hoover High School in suburban Birmingham,
Varsity Blues – A 1999 film about high school football in a small
Texas town, and the coach obsessed with winning.
When the Game Stands Tall
When the Game Stands Tall – A 2014 film about the record-setting
151-game 1992–2003 high school football winning streak by De La
Salle High School (Concord, California).
Wildcats – A 1986 film in which
Goldie Hawn plays the daughter of a
noted football coach who becomes head coach at an inner-city high
Woodlawn – A 2015 Christian-themed film surrounding the 1973
desegregation of Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama, and a
spiritual revival within the school's football team that significantly
affected the community.
Concussions and safety concerns
Robert Cantu, a Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery and Co-Founder
of the CTE Center at the Boston University School of Medicine,
believes that children under 14 should not play tackle football.
Their brains are not fully developed, and myelin (nerve cell
insulation) is at greater risk in shear when the brain is young.
Myelination is completed at about 15 years of age. Children also have
larger heads relative to their body size and weaker necks.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is caused by repeated brain
trauma, such as concussions and blows to the head that do not produce
concussions. It has been found in football players who had played for
only a few years, including some who only played at the high school
An NFL-funded study reported that high school football players
suffered 11.2 concussions per 10,000 games or practices, nearly twice
as many as college football players.
National Football League
American Football League
Arena Football League
^ "Section 1208(g): Playing Rules" (PDF). 100th Edition of the
Constitution and Contest Rules of the University Interscholastic
League. University Interscholastic League. 2009–2010. Retrieved
^ "Section 159: Rules" (PDF). Contest Rules: Football Qualifications.
Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. 2009–2010.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-01. Retrieved
^ "Rule 69.1" (PDF). Rules and Regulations Governing Athletics.
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. July 1, 2009 –
June 30, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 16, 2009.
^ "BCFOA Home".
British Columbia Football Official's Association.
Retrieved September 1, 2010.
^ "High Schools – The Buffalo News". blogs.buffalonews.com.
^ McShea, Keith (November 3, 2011). The Ralph is a busy place for
football playoffs. The Buffalo News. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
^ National High School Record Book. NFHS. p. 76. Archived from
the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
^ SDPB Championships.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Retrieved
^ "OFSAA Football Bowl 2015 Matchups –
Ontario Federation of School
Athletic Associations". www.ofsaa.on.ca.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-15. Retrieved
^ Nader, Ralph; Reed, Kenneth (8 November 2016). "The X's and O's of
brain injury and youth football". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 26 August
^ Cantu, " Concussions and Our Kids"
^ Paul Solotaroff, "This Is Your Brain on Football", Jan 31, 2013,
^ Toporek, Bryan. "New: High School Football Can Lead to Long-Term
Brain Damage, Study Says". Education Week. Retrieved 26 August
^ "Deadly Hits: The Story of Ex-football Player Chris Coyne". Lauren
Tarshis YouTube page. Lauren Tarshis. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 27
^ Preps at greater concussion risk, ESPN, Tom Farrey, Oct. 31, 2013.
ESPN College Football Encyclopedia by Michael McCambridge – lists
all-time records for all current Division I and
Ivy League colleges,
including games played against high school teams
High school football at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
High school football in Europe
Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis, documentary on concussions
and traumatic encephalopathy in sports, Chris Nowinski, 2012
High school football awards
USA Today/National Prep Poll High School Football National
U.S. Army Player of the Year Award
Sam B. Nicola Trophy
Gatorade Player of the Year Award
Overall media awards
USA Today Offensive Player of the Year
USA Today Defensive Player of the Year
Mr. Football USA
Anthony Muñoz Award (Lineman)
Butkus Award (Linebacker)
Walter Payton Trophy (Best Athlete)
Parade High School All-Americans
USA Today All-USA Team
Head Coaching awards
USA Today Coach of the Year
Academic, inspirational, and versatility awards
Rudy Award (inspirational/motivational)
Glenn Davis Award (Los Angeles)
Kennedy Award (West Virginia)
Thomas A. Simone Award (
Mr. Football Award