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Only One Warning to Be Given for Delay Situations in High School Basketball

Date: 4/19/06

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 19, 2006) - Beginning next season in high school basketball, only one warning will be given for any of the four delay situations before a technical foul is assessed, including the newly approved delay situation for water on the court following a time-out.

This change was one of five rules revisions approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee at its April 9-10 meeting in Indianapolis. The rules changes subsequently were approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. In addition to the new delay situation for water on the court following a time-out, the other delay situations in Rule 4-47 are for throw-in plane violations, for a huddle by either team and contact with the free thrower, and for interfering with the ball following a goal.

Previously, a team could receive a warning for each of the other three delay situations before a technical foul was assessed and two free throws awarded to the opposition.

"The elimination of three warnings for various delay-of-game situations into one warning will better assist with the flow of the game, as well as the administration of the rule by officials and scorers," said Mary Struckhoff, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee. "With new tactics of additional delay-of-game situations increasing, such as wiping up the floor following time-outs, the rule gives coaches and officials clear direction on limiting these situations by allowing only one warning prior to administering a team technical foul."

In another major change, the exact time observed by the referee may be placed back on the clock when an obvious mistake is made by the timer in starting or stopping the clock.

"With this change in Rule 5-10-1, it eliminates the lag time/reaction time of the clock operator," Struckhoff said. "If the referee observes the time on the clock when an error occurs, the exact time will be able to be put back on the clock."

Two equipment changes were approved by the committee. In Rule 3-5-2, the guidelines for headbands and sweatbands were altered, and in Rule 3-6, the school logo/mascot now will be permitted on pants, compression shorts, sweatbands and headbands.

Headbands and sweatbands must be white or similar in color to the torso of the jersey and must be the same color for each item and all participants. Only one item is permitted on the head and on each wrist. Sweatbands must be a maximum of four inches and worn below the elbow.

"Increasingly, headbands and sweatbands have become items of concern, mainly on how and where athletes have worn them," said Nate Hampton, assistant director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee. "Many are concerned that these items are worn mainly for decorative reasons or individual identification rather than for a useful purpose. This change will give a clearer direction on where sweatbands may be worn, and the colors will be more reflective of team and school."

Among the five rules changes was the addition of a new signal for a team-control foul. The mechanics for this signal will be extension of the arm with the fist punched. Struckhoff said the new signal should eliminate confusion at the scorer's table, as well as with players, coaches and fans.

"Today's game of interscholastic basketball is in the best position ever," Hampton said. "The great work done by so many knowledgeable and caring previous committee members has made for the great game we enjoy today. This year's committee discussed at length many proposed changes with an eye on how each proposed change would affect the game as it is coached, played, officiated and understood by the various levels of participation in interscholastic programs across the nation."

In addition to the actual rules changes, six major editorial revisions were approved by the committee, along with five points of emphasis for the 2006-07 season.

Among the editorial changes is a revision to Rule 5-11-2 which prohibits on-court entertainment during a 30-second time-out.

In addition to the point of emphasis on the Proper Procedures for Handling Apparent Concussions that is being emphasized in all NFHS sports rules this year, the Basketball Rules Committee issued four other areas of concern: uniforms, time-outs, intentional fouls and rule/signal enforcement.

In terms of school sponsorship, basketball is the most popular high school sport for boys and girls, according to the NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey. In 2004-05, a total of 17,482 schools offered the sport for boys and 17,175 for girls. In terms of participants, it ranks second for boys with 545,497 participants and first for girls with 456,543 individuals playing the sport.

Click here for detailed rule change descriptions

MEDIA CONTACT: Bruce Howard or John Gillis, 317-972-6900.

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