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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Beginning next year, high school basketball rules will further clarify when a contest is to be forfeited, including if a qualified individual is not present to coach. A proposal for a national rule mandating a shot clock as well as a proposal to allow a shot clock by state adoption were not approved.

These were among the topics discussed by the National Federation of State High School Associations Basketball Rules Committee at its annual meeting April 14-16. The rules meeting was held in an online format to comply with current health safety guidelines. All recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Rule 5-4-1 was one of three rules updated by the committee. It now states that a game is declared a forfeit if a coach is removed from the contest for unsporting conduct and no authorized school personnel are present to assume responsibility of the team.

Rule 10-6-1 Penalty was also amended to clarify that an official is not required to provide a warning to a coach before a technical foul is given.

A timer’s responsibilities were addressed in Rule 2-12-5 when a player is disqualified or injured. A warning signal is sounded to begin a 15-second interval to replace a disqualified or injured player. A second warning signal was added when the 15 seconds expires to prepare teams for the resumption of play.

A complete listing of the basketball rules changes is available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Basketball.”

HOCKEY

RULE CHANGES

Measures to reduce the risk of injury for participants and to provide an additional scenario for instant replay usage comprise the prominent components of the 2020-21 high school ice hockey rules changes.The National Federation of State High School Associations Ice Hockey Rules Committee proposed a total of five rules modifications as a result of its meeting April 27-28, which were all subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. The committee’s meeting was held in an online format to comply with current health safety guidelines.

One of the risk-minimization changes was made to Rule 3-2, through which a more severe penalty may now be assessed to a player wearing skates that are deemed “dangerous.” Previously, a player with dangerous skates was given a warning and an opportunity to return to the game once the issue was corrected. In 2020-21, a first offense will warrant a game misconduct penalty.

Under Rule 7-6-1, a player who strikes an opponent with his or her hand may now receive a major penalty at the discretion of the official. Traditionally, improper hand contact that was not considered to be fighting constituted a minor penalty.

State associations that have authorized an instant replay system during games may now utilize it to review infractions that involve student-athlete ejections. This clause was added to Rule 9-13 as an accompaniment to the pre-existing instant replay situations, which include reviewing goals and undetected goals and determining the correct amount of time on the game clock.

Risk minimization was also the focus in Rule 7-13-3, where language was added to prohibit a player from moving an opponent’s glove, tooth or mouth protector that has fallen on the ice for the purpose of keeping it from the opponent’s possession. The stick was the only piece of equipment specified within the original version of the rule.

Finally, a subtle change was made to Rule 3-4-2 to clarify the purpose of the throat/neck protector as a “laceration” protector.

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