One minute warning
“The Hurry Up” is Shawn "Coach of the Fans" Liotta's blog with information from his coaching experience, film study and conversations with industry leaders that may be pertinent to current trends and strategy in the Indoor Football League. Liotta is the coach of the fans of the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, who rely on fan voting for everything—including play-calling.
The final 60 seconds of a game in the Indoor Football League are some of the most exciting and frantic in all of professional football. It is not uncommon to see teams quickly trade scores during this time, with close games often coming down to who has the ball last.
One such contest developed last weekend when the Arizona Rattlers escaped Green Bay with a 30-29 victory over the Blizzard in a game that was decided in a interesting final 60 seconds.
In the IFL the clock will stop at the one-minute warning, after which it stops for all incomplete passes, players contacted into the walls (out of bounds) and scores or change of possession. One of the unique one-minute rules in the IFL is the positive yardage rule.
If a team has the lead, they may not take a knee or lose yardage on a running play. Should the team in the lead with the ball not gain positive yardage, the game clock will stop and not start until the next snap, essentially giving the team that is trailing an extra timeout. If the score is tied or a team is trailing, they can take a knee or lose yardage and the clock will continue to run.
Where many fans become confused is the strategy that teams will often employ during the final minute to ensure that they have the opportunity to score last. It is not uncommon to see a team with the leadcall an onside kick or purposely allow the opponent to score (more on this later). While these strategies may seem unorthodox, they are actually very sound approaches practiced by most teams in the league.