Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prep football players must sit one play if helmet comes off

Beginning next fall, when a high school football player's helmet comes off while the ball is live, he'll be required to sit out at least one play.

This was one of eight rules approved by the National Federation of State High School Association Football Rules Committee. The N.C. High School Athletic Association, which has nearly 400 schools including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is a member of the National Federation.

“The committee made this rules change after reviewing data from multiple states regarding the frequency of helmets coming off during live-ball play,” said Julian Tackett, chair of the Football Rules Committee and commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. “It is the committee’s hope that this serves notice for schools to properly fit players with helmets to reduce the incidence of these situations and remind the players not to take steps that alter the fit.”

Other new changes included:

-- A new interpretation of a legal catch. A receiver now will be required to establish possession of the ball and contact the ground in-bounds while maintaining possession – regardless of the opponent’s action.

“In previous years, the covering official could have ruled that an airborne player attempting to catch the ball would have come down inbounds, but was prevented from doing so because of contact by the opponent,” said Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and liaison to the Football Rules Committee. “Now, the player must establish possession and contact the ground inbounds for a legal catch.”

-- State associations and their member schools can place corporate advertising and/or commercial markings on the field of play. These types of markings previously were only allowed in the end zones and outside the field.

Rule 1-2-3l will state that while corporate advertising and/or commercial markings will be allowed, the markings may not obstruct the yard lines, hash marks or nine-yard marks.

-- A risk-minimization change was made to Rule 2-3-7 that changes an interpretation for blocking below the waist.

“The previous interpretation was that it was not a foul for a player to block below the waist if the hand(s) of the opponent was first contacted below the waist,” Colgate said. “This revision changes that interpretation and stipulates that such action is a foul.”

-- After experimentation in Minnesota and Iowa, the committee revised Rule 9-3-8 to prohibit members of the kicking team from initiating contact (blocking) against 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.

-- The other three rules changes approved by the committee include Rule 1-5-3c(8), which expands the list of illegal equipment to include play cards that are not worn on the wrist or arm, as well as Rule 9-4-3h, which now states that grasping the tooth and mouth protector, as well as the face mask, is a foul. Also, to provide guidance to game officials, the committee clarified Rule 9-4-3k by adding the direction in which the opponent was pulled during a horse-collar.

-- Finally, the NFHS decided to extend the effective date of its new glove rule from 2012 to 2013. During the 2012 season, both gloves meeting the current standard and gloves meeting the new standard will be legal for play.

0 comments: