That play should be have been blown dead and the team penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. As a high school official, such “verbal deception” is a foul. Such plays have no place in high school sports, especially at the middle school level. That coach should be ashamed. The officials should be ashamed (at middle school, they are perhaps not certified officials - but they should still know the rules).
Wow. The coach and the kid both don’t seem to be the brightest bulbs in the box. That being said, I really don’t think the play is ethical, even if it may be technically ‘fair’. These are kids we’re talking about, not some pro ball players. I always thought that one of the MAJOR things being taught during school sports was honor and good sportsmanship. At least it was when I played ball. (We would have NEVER tried something like this, because we believed that winning was a matter of skill, not full on deception.)
I dunno. There’s a long history of trick plays in football. One team used to sew football-shaped leather patches on their jerseys, back in the early days of the sport.
Not sure if it’s ‘cheating’, ‘unsportsmanlike’, or ‘unethical’, but kids should be taught that people are occasionally sneaky rotten bastards who don’t do what you expect them to, and may even get away with it.