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New rules eliminate scoring opportunity for guards

High school offensive linemen looking to score will have to beg their coaches to call tackle eligible plays or insert them as fullbacks at the goal line next season.

The football rules committee of The National Federation of State High School Associations has banned the fumblerooski, the Los Angeles Times reported in Thursday's editions.

In a successful fumblerooski, the quarterback sets the ball on the ground after the snap. The offensive players fake a play one direction while a guard picks up the ball and runs the other way.

The NFL banned the trick play in the 1960s, and college football followed suit more than 10 years ago. Among the memorable plays before the ban was a 29-yard run by Sooners guard Mark Hutson, who scored a touchdown with two minutes to go in Oklahoma's 20-14 loss to Miami in the 1988 Orange Bowl.

Among the high school coaches who will have adjust his bag of tricks is Bill Redell of Westlake Village Oaks in Southern California.

Last season, one of his guards ran 74 yards for a touchdown, and he told the Times he has used the play more than 20 times since 1994.

A former assistant, Mike Sanders, also employs the play.

"The times we practiced it, the times we ran it, the kids had a blast," Sanders told the paper. "The players absolutely loved it."

But Jerry Diehl, assistant director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, told the Times that the seldom-used play was a burden for officials.

"It eliminates confusion in a ballgame," Diehl told the paper of the rules change announced in January.