NFHS RULES UPDATE---FOOTBALL--SWIM & DIVE---BASKETBALL

 

FOOTBALL

1-3-1h (NEW):  Added that commercial advertising is not permitted on the ball.

Rationale:  The ball cannot have commercial advertising added to the surface. The only permissible items on the ball are the ball manufacturer’s name and/or logo; school name, logo and/or mascot; conference name and/or logo; state association name and/or logos; and NFHS name and/or logos.

1-5-1b(3):  Further clarifies that the jersey of the home team shall be a dark color clearly contrasting to the white jersey required for the visiting team.

Rationale:  Home game jersey specifications were further revised to provide schools and manufacturers additional clarification regarding the current trend of utilizing lighter gray shades. The implementation date of 2021 affords schools and manufacturers the opportunity to ensure that newer dark jerseys will clearly contrast with white. The requirement for contrasting colors to white is not a new rule, and this new clarification will allow changes to be made during normal replacement cycles.

1-5-1a(2) NOTE, 1-5-4:  This change nowpermits any of the game officials to accompany the referee to meet with the head coachfor equipment verification.

Rationale:  Member state associations may determine the game official who is to accompany the referee during the required pre-game meeting with each head coach.

2-3-10 (NEW), 9-4-3n (NEW), 9-4 PENALTY:  Added a new definition for a blindside block and specifies a penalty for an illegal blindside block.

Rationale:  Continuing with the focus on risk minimization, the committee created a definition for a blindside block. This block involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration, is vulnerable to injury. Unless initiated with open hands, it is a foul for excessive and unnecessary contact when the block is forceful and outside of the free-blocking zone.

2-16-2h:  Clarified that illegal participation fouls by R occurring during the kick are now enforced under post-scrimmage kick fouls.

Rationale:  Illegal participation fouls by R occurring during the kick are now enforced under post-scrimmage kick fouls. Illegal substitution and illegal participation fouls by R occurring at the snap continue to be enforced from the previous spot.

2-24-10 (NEW), 6-1-11 (NEW), 6-1 PENALTY:  Added a new definition for a pop-up kick and specifies a penalty for a pop-up kick.

Rationale:  Continuing with the committee’s efforts to minimize risk, a pop-up kickoff has been defined. A pop-up kick is a free kick in which the kicker drives the ball immediately to the ground, the ball strikes the ground once and goes into the air in the manner of a ball kicked directly off the tee. Such kicks will be penalized as a dead-ball free-kick infraction.

2-32-16:  Expands the definition of a defenseless player by incorporating specific examples.

Rationale:  The committee adopted specific examples of a defenseless player. By adding these examples, the committee continues to focus on risk minimization and responded to requests on the annual NFHS football rules questionnaire from participating coaches, game officials and state association representatives.

3-4-7 (NEW):  Added a new option to the offended team to start the clock on the snap for an accepted penalty inside the last two minutes of either half.

Rationale:  The committee added an option for the offended team on an accepted penalty inside the last two minutes of either half. The referee continues to have the authority to start or stop the clock if a team attempts to conserve or consume time illegally.

4-2-2l (NEW):  Specifies that the ball is declared dead if a prosthetic limb comes completely off of the runner.

Rationale:  With this change, the ball becomes dead when a prosthetic limb comes completely off of the runner.

7-1-6:  Now stipulates that it is encroachment to strike the ball or the snapper’s hand/arm prior to the snapper releasing the ball.

Rationale:  Defensive players are restricted from contacting the ball or the snapper’s hand(s) or arm(s) until the snapper has released the ball.

7-5-10:  Removes non-contact face guarding from the pass interference restrictions.

Rationale:  This change eliminates the previous foul for non-contact face guarding forward-pass interference.

 

SWIMMING & DIVING

 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 19, 2017) — Among the changes to high school swimming and diving rules for 2017-18 are ones that address risk minimization and requirements for use of the championship meet format.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee recommended seven rules changes at its March 19-21 meeting in Indianapolis, and all changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Rule 1-3-12 now requires state associations to identify culminating meets, which require use of the championship format. Due to the variations in conference, league and postseason championships within states, the committee believes it is appropriate for the respective state association to determine which meets shall be considered culminating meets.

“The championship meet format features preliminaries and finals rounds, which are thought to provide athletes the best opportunity to excel in their events,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “However, the format also prescribes specific rules associated with team and individual entries, dual confirmation, declared false starts and applicable penalties for violation of these rules.

“The committee agreed that state associations are in the best position to determine which competitions must adhere to the championship meet format. The language also allows non-championship meets to be conducted using the championship meet format.”

An addition to Rule 8-3-5c specifies where a second, third and fourth swimmer’s feet must be when a relay exchange occurs. One foot must be in contact with the surface of the starting platform in front of the starting block wedge during takeoff to minimize risk during relay exchanges.

Rule 3-6 was reorganized to provide clarity regarding the potential conduct issues within a meet. As a result, the committee believes these issues are now easier to compare and categorize for appropriate action and/or penalty. Rule 4-1-8 was also affected by this rule change and now includes language regarding appropriate conduct for meet officials.

Other rules changes include:

  • Rule 9-5-2, which addresses the approach and hurdle requirements in diving. This clarifies the intent for hops, leaps and/or jumps to count toward the three-step forward approach requirement.
  • Rule 3-3-2a, which provides consistency for all NFHS sports regarding what school and competitor information is permitted on the uniform which, in swimming and diving, consists of the suit and swim cap.
  • Rule 4-6-4, which requires dual confirmation for relay exchanges during championship meets. The referee and the starter may serve as the relay takeoff judges.
  • Rule 3-4, which provides competitors more flexibility when competing in 500-yard events to count either up or down with visual lap counters. This practice permits flexibility for the competitor, and is in keeping with current trends in the sport.

“The Swimming and Diving Rules Committee was intentional in deliberation of this year’s rules proposals,” Searcy said. “Its main focus this year was to minimize risk but also clarify existing rules.”

 

BASKETBALL

 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 11, 2017) — Effective with the 2017-18 high school basketball season, play will be stopped and an official warning will be given to the head coach – and recorded in the scorebook – for misconduct by the coach or other bench personnel unless the offense is judged to be major, in which case a technical foul shall be assessed. 

This new rule was one of the five changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee at its April 10-12 meeting in Indianapolis. All changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

In addition to misconduct violations related to Rule 10-5, the head coach will be officially warned for the first violation of Rule 10-6-1 regarding the coaching box.

Rules 4-48-1 and 4-48-2 will both have a note stating that a warning is not required prior to calling a technical foul.

“Stopping play and making sure that the bench and the coach know that an official warning has been given sends a clear message to everyone in the gym and impacts the behavior of the coach, and in some cases the behavior of the opposing coach,” said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials and liaison to the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee. “This change in behavior creates a better atmosphere and, many times, avoids the need to administer a technical foul.”

In other changes, the rules committee approved enlarging the coaching box from 14 feet to 28 feet. The coaching box now shall be bounded by a line drawn 28 feet from the end line toward the division line. A line drawn from the sideline toward the team bench becomes the end of the coaching box toward the end line. State associations may alter the length and placement of the 28-foot coaching box.

“The committee thought the restriction of the (14-foot) coaching box limited the level of communication between the coach and players,” Wynns said. “Allowing a coach freedom to move within the new box between the 28-foot mark and the end line provides a coach more access to his or her players.”

Changes in Rules 3-4-1d and 3-4-4 regarding uniforms were approved by the committee, including restrictions on identifying names that can be placed in the allowable area of the jersey. Identifying names on uniforms must adhere to the following: school name, school nickname, school logo, player’s name and/or abbreviation of the official school name. The panel in the shoulder area on the back of the jersey may be used for placing an identifying name as well.

The committee also approved a change in the way officials signal a foul against a player. After verbally informing the offender, the official shall use fingers on two hands to indicate to the scorer the number of the offender and the number of free throws.

“This change was made to minimize reporting errors that occur between the officials and the scorekeepers,” Wynns said. “Two-handed reporting is easier for the scorekeepers to see and comprehend, and it is less confusing.”  

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