Wednesday Night Lights

Practices in the rain.

Season-ending injuries.

Trash talk.

Powder Puff season has arrived.

The upper school girls are just as intense as ever about this Wednesday’s games, but several rule changes this year are designed to limit the carnage on the field. Although official sources are keeping the changes under wraps, a Gazebo investigation has uncovered details.

Student Activities Board adviser Ms. Eleanor McDavid said only that the idea behind the changes is to keep the fun but add to the safety.

When asked to explain the new rules, however, McDavid declined comment.

Speaking off the record, a senior Powder Puff coach with knowledge of the new rules explained that they are designed not only to improve safety, but also to increase the number of plays and get more girls in the game.

The then-freshmen team poses for a pre-game picture.
Last year’s freshmen team poses for a pre-game picture.

The center will not really be a center anymore. Or at least they won’t snap the ball. Instead, the quarterback will start with the ball and lift it over her head to put the play in motion. She will have five seconds to make a play – to either hand it off, pass, or run with it herself – before the ball is dead.

“Personally, I wasn’t very good at snapping so it was a relief for me,” senior center Emily Schlottman said. “But it does give the quarterback the majority of the role on the field so I guess that takes away from other people. I could see someone else being like ‘Wow now the quarterback has all the power.’ Not me personally, but I could see it.”

Blitzing is also now illegal. Defenders may only go after the quarterback’s flag if the signal caller keeps the ball and run with it.

A few of last year’s sophomores prepare to take on the 2012-2013 seniors in last year’s games.

In order to give more girls more time in the game, both the length of the game and the number of players on the field have been increased. This year the girls will play 12- instead of 10-minute halves, and will have 10 instead of seven players on the field for every play.

“It makes it longer and more worthwhile for the girls considering what they do beforehand to get ready before the game,” a second highly-placed coach said of the crucial four extra minutes of playing time.

Finally, the width of the field has been increased to 160 feet – the entire width of the regulation football field used by the varsity. The length remains 80 yards, between the 10-yard lines.

What to do with all of this freedom?

“They did it to make it safer, but it’s basically a lot easier to run wider plays and then get up field,” said a senior who asked to remain anonymous.

The Powder Puff games – new rules and all – begin on Wednesday, Oct. 2,  at 7:30 pm in the football stadium.