PINELLAS PARK —
The National Federation of State High School Associations will enact a few minor rule changes for this upcoming high school football season.
Here are the most notable changes:
- Rule 7-5-10: Pass interference is still a 15-yard penalty for both offensive and defensive violations, however there is no longer an automatic first down for defensive pass interference and no loss of down for offensive pass interference.
- Rule 6-5-6: Kick catch interference can now include the option of a 15-yard penalty from the spot of the foul.
- Rule 3-5-10: The NFHS has adopted the NCAA’s rule that if a player’s helmet comes off during play, he or she must leave the game for at least one down.
Some other rule adjustments include:
- Rule 1-5-2a: Beginning this season, gloves must meet the NOCSAE test standard at the time of manufacture. Until then, gloves must have a securely attached NFHS/NCAA label or stamp indicating compliance with test specifications on file with the SGMA.
- Rule 1-5-3: Towels will be of one solid color (other than ball color or penalty Flag color) and have no more than one visible manufacter’s/trade mark logo (such as a Nike swoosh) that does not exceed 2 ¼ inches square. It is illegal for players to have their team logo, name, number, slogans, etc. visible on the towel. Not every player on a team is required to wear a towel, but teammates that do wear a towel must all have the same solid color matching towel.
- Rule 1-5-3b: The rule stating that penalty colored pads or gloves are illegal has been deleted.
- Rule 1-6-1: In specific situations, coaches, players and nonplayers will be allowed to use any form of communication technology. The expansion of the rule allows the use of communication devices during authorized conferences outside the nine-yard marks, on the sidelines and during the halftime intermission. The use of communication devices by players, except conferences outside the nine-yard mark, continues to be prohibited.
- Rule 2-4-1: Last year, the definition of a catch stated that a receiver is required to establish possession of the ball and contact the ground inbounds while maintaining possession – regardless of the opponent’s action. The definition of a catch was clarified such that an airborne player who has forward progress stopped inbounds and is carried out of bounds by an opponent before contacting the ground is awarded a catch at the spot of forward progress.
- Rule 8-3-3: The committee clarified that the touchdown scoring team is the only team that can score on a try.
- Rule 9-3-8: It is prohibited for members on the kicking team to initiate contact (or block) members of the receiving team until the ball has broken the plane of the receiving team’s restraining line, or until the kicking team is eligible to recover the free kick. A provision was added stipulating that the kicking team may legally initiate contact once the receiving team has initiated a block within the neutral zone.
About the NFHS
Since 1920, The National Federation of State High School Associations has led the development of education -based interscholastic sports and activities that help students succeed in their lives. We set directions for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities.
The NFHS, from its offices in Indianapolis, Indiana, serves its 50 member state high school athletic/activity associations, plus the District of Columbia. The NFHS publishes playing rules in 16 sports for boys and girls competition and administers fine arts programs in speech, theater, debate and music. It provides a variety of program initiatives that reach the 18,500 high schools and over 11 million students involved in athletic and activity programs.
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