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UIL Suspends “Friday Night Rule” for One Year

- Allows Telecasts of Friday Night Football

The University Interscholastic League officially posted notice on its website that it is suspending Section 868(c) of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules, the rule which prohibits live telecasts of regular season football games on Friday.

The UIL defines “telecast” as ”any live or tape-delayed video footage of a contest in its entirety that can be transmitted through television, Internet Web stream, Webcast, video podcast, smart phone apps, tablet computer apps, closed-circuit channels, weather cameras or any other medium.”

The UIL will allow live telecasts of high school football games on Friday nights during the regular season except for linear telecasts on Sept. 25, 2020.

The suspension is only for the 2020-21 school year, and interested parties must adhere to the following rules:

  • No linear telecasts will be permitted on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, unless already permitted by Section 868(c) PILOT PROGRAM
  • Only webcasts will be permitted on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020
  • With prior approval by their school administration, the Home Team may have one digital webcast transmitted on the Internet and one linear telecast on television per game, provided there is adequate space for the Visiting Team webcast production
  • With prior approval by their school administration, the Visiting Team may have one digital webcast transmitted on the Internet per game
  • Webcasts may be on any media platform approved by the school
  • All telecasts must adhere to UIL telecast guidelines and advertisement restrictions

UIL Football Live Telecast General Guidelines
The UIL said announcers provided as part of such telecasts are expected to adhere to the following announcer guidelines:

  • The telecast should provide announcers who are competent and exhibit professionalism
  • No dramatization shall be made of any unsportsmanlike conduct, incidents or displays on the part of the participants or fans
  • There shall be no destructive criticisms of officials’ decisions
  • No mention shall be made of injuries, unpreventable accidents, or other incidents which may cause any anxiety on the part of the viewers

Press Box Guidelines
In making the announcement, the UIL laid out the following guidelines for press box accommodations:

  • The host venue should make every attempt to accommodate both the Home and Visitor Team production crews for telecasts and webcasts while following all social distancing recommendations, face covering requirements, and other health related recommendations by their local and state authorities
  • Press box capacity should include at least six feet between individuals when possible, and all individuals are required to wear face coverings
  • Schools should limit production crews to those individuals essential to the telecast

Advertisement Restrictions
Several types of advertising are prohibited during telecasts (and radio broadcasts) of any UIL activities.  These include the following categories of advertising:

  • Political announcements
  • Cigarettes or other tobacco product
  • Gambling services or venues
  • Sexual services or adult entertainment venues
  • Alcohol and firearms advertisements

Alleged violations of these provisions will fall under the jurisdiction of the UIL’s District and State Executive Committees.

Violations will be subject to the range of penalties listed in the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. Any negotiations regarding telecasts are at the discretion of the school district and must comply with UIL rules. All revenues generated belong to the entities involved in the agreement.

Questions about application of this rule should be directed to the UIL Media Office at 512-471-5883 or pr@uiltexas.org


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