2017/2018 Rules Changes/Edits
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.”
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.”
Basketball ranks third in popularity among both boys and girls at the high school level with 546,428 and 429,380 participants, respectively, according to the 2015-16 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey.
Points of Emphasis
1. Equipment worn on head for medical or religious reason. Specific procedures have been established for allowing a head covering to be worn for medical or religious reasons. A player who is required to wear a head covering for medical or religious reasons must provide a physician statement or appropriate documented evidence to the state association for approval. If approved, the state association shall provide written authorization to the school to be made available to officials.
2. Team control, throw-in. The relevance of team control during a throw-in only applies when a member of the throw- in team fouls. Such fouls shall be ruled team control fouls. Team control during a throw-in is NOT intended to be the same as player control/team control inbounds. Team control inbounds is established when a player from either team who has inbound status gains control of the ball. During the throw-in, 10-seconds, 3-seconds, frontcourt status, backcourt status, closely guarded, etc., are NOT factors as there has yet to be player control/team control obtained inbounds.
With specific regard to the backcourt violation; a team may not be the last to touch a live ball in the front court and then be the first to touch a live ball in the backcourt, provided that team has establish player control/team control on the playing court (either in the backcourt or frontcourt). BY RULE EXCEPTION, during a throw-in a team may leave the front court, establish player control/team control while airborne and land in the backcourt. This is a legal play and ONLY applies to the first player of the offense who touches the ball PRIOR to the end of the throw-in.
3. Intentional Fouls. The committee is concerned about the lack of enforcement for intentional fouls during any part of the game but especially at the end of a game. The intentional foul rule has evolved into misapplication and personal interpretations. An intentional foul is a personal or technical foul that may or may not be premeditated and is not based solely on the severity of the act, it is contact that:
Neutralizes an opponent’s obvious advantageous position.
Contact on an opponent who is clearly not in the play.
May be excessive contact.
Contact that is not necessarily premeditated or based solely on the severity of the act.
This type of foul may be strategic to stop the clock or create a situation that may be tactically done for the team taking action. This foul may be innocent in severity, but without any playing of the ball, it becomes an intentional act such as a player wrapping their arms around an opponent. The act may be excessive in its intensity and force of the action. These actions are all intentional fouls and are to be called as such.
Officials must be aware of the game situations as the probability of fouling late in the game is an accepted coaching strategy and is utilized by many coaches in some form. Officials must have the courage to enforce the intentional foul rule properly.
4. Guarding. The addition of rule 10.7.12, has been successful in its intent to clean up illegal contact on the ballhandler/dribbler and post players. Players are attempting to
replace this illegal contact with contact observed as “body bumping”. Illegal contact with the body must be ruled a foul however, officials must accurately identify if the defense or offense causes the contact and penalize the player causing the illegal contact. Once a defensive player obtains legal guarding position by facing an opponent with both feet of the floor inbounds, he/she may move to maintain that position in any direction except toward the offensive player being guarded when contact occurs. The defense is not required to keep both feet on the playing court and may jump vertically or laterally to maintain the legal position. If contact occurs prior to the offensive player getting head and shoulders past the defender the responsibility is on the offensive player.