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Replacement Time for Disqualified Players Decreases in High School Basketball

Date: 5/7/07

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 7, 2007) - High school basketball coaches will have less time to replace a disqualified or injured player beginning with the 2007-08 season.

This change, aimed at avoiding delays in games, was one of five rules revisions approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee at its April 15-16 meeting in Indianapolis. The rules changes subsequently were approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The committee reduced the replacement interval for a disqualified player from 30 seconds to 20 seconds, and a warning signal will be sounded with 15 seconds remaining, or five seconds into the interval.

"Previously, with 30 seconds, many coaches were trying to use this time period as an unofficial time-out," said Mary Struckhoff, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee. "By reducing the replacement interval, it encourages coaches to replace the disqualified player in a more timely fashion and allows the game to progress."

The determination of when a dribble ends was revised by the committee. Henceforth, a dribble will end when the loss of control by the dribbler is caused by the opponent touching, or being touched, by the ball rather than an intentional batting of the ball.

"In the past, a common interpretation has been that any touching of a dribble by a defender ended the dribble," Struckhoff said. "However, the language in our rules implied that the touching had to be by the hand and had to be intentional. The change in language provides consistency with the current enforcement of the rule."

A change in Rule 4-42-5 adds the word "legally" to the current rule regarding when a throw-in ends. The revised rule will read as follows: "The throw-in ends when the passed ball touches, or is legally touched, by another player who is either inbounds or out of bounds.

In the past, the rule could "reward" a defensive team that committed a violation, such as kicking the ball during a throw-in. With the previous rule, if a throw-in was kicked by the defense, it could cause the offensive team to be disadvantaged from an alternating-possession standpoint. By adding "legally" to the current rule that defines when a throw-in ends, it eliminates this type of situation from happening.

In other changes, compression sleeves were added to the list of items that can only be worn for medical reasons, along with guards, casts and braces.

The final revision approved by the committee was changing the warning horn for a 30-second time-out to be sounded with 15 seconds remaining. This change makes all warning horns uniform for intermissions, time-outs and the disqualified player interval.

In addition, the committee added a signal for when a defender is not in a closely guarded situation. The signal will be a spreading of the arms.

As it does annually, the committee adopted points of emphasis for the 2007-08 season. The four areas of concern for the coming season are uniforms, free throws, displacement and the ball handler/dribbler.

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 2005-06, a total of 17,535 schools offered the sport for boys and 17,275 for girls. In terms of participants, it ranks second for boys with 546,335 participants and first for girls with 452,929 individuals playing the sport.


About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction 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 writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 18,500 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org.

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