Even the fall season is just reaching its midpoint, many people are turning their attention to getting ready for basketball. Coaches and administrators are beginning to ask questions related to rules changes that may impact how they approach the season. There are several rule changes that will impact the administrative side of the contest, while one will have an impact on the court.
The latter will allow head coaches in high school basketball to come onto the court in an effort to break up a fight or keep a situation from escalating. Previously, the head coach could only enter the court if beckoned by an official. This revision to Rule 10-4-5 was one of five rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee at its April 15-17 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
While the head coach and his/her assistants must continue to ensure that players remain on the bench during a fight, the committee agreed that the presence of the head coach on the court could be instrumental in preventing the situation from escalating, and the coach also could assist game officials in controlling the situation.
“By removing the requirement of the head coach being beckoned onto the floor by the officials, it should result in a more expedient resolution of the situation and restoration of order,” said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials education. “The change also will allow the officials a greater opportunity to assess appropriate penalties by being able to observe the situation because of the increased assistance the head coach(es) will provide by their presence.”
In other changes, the rules committee approved the use of electronic devices during the game in certain instances. Rule 1-19 now will allow a coach to take advantage of electronic devices for use in coaching and gathering statistics. Teams, however, cannot use electronic equipment for voice communication with players on the court, and the use of electronic audio and/or video devices are not allowed to review a decision of the contest officials.
In an effort to thwart the use of leg-compression sleeves for non-medical reasons, the committee added leg-compression sleeves to the requirements of arm-compression sleeves in Rule 3-5-3. Leg-compression sleeves shall be white, black, beige or a single solid school color; shall be the same color for each team member; must meet the logo requirements in Rule 3-6; and must only be worn for medical reasons.
The final rules change approved by the committee for the 2013-14 season will permit a single, visible manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference on the team jersey, not to exceed 2¼ square inches with no dimension more than 2¼ inches. The manufacturer’s logo may be located no more than 5 inches below the shoulder seam on the front of the jersey, or 2 inches from the neckline on the back of the jersey, or in either side insert. Wynns said this change will bring basketball in agreement with other NFHS sports rules and allow the use of a single manufacturer’s logo on the jersey of the playing uniform.
In addition to these rules changes, the committee approved a new defensive tip signal that will be added to the Basketball Officials Manual. This signal will be given by the official when the ball enters the backcourt as a result of contact with the defensive player.
Basketball is the second-most popular sport for girls and third-most popular for boys at the high school level, according to the 2011-12 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS, with 435,885 girls and 535,289 boys participating nationwide. The sport ranks first in school sponsorship of girls and boys teams with 17,768 schools sponsoring the sport for girls and 18,099 sponsoring the sport for boys.