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Basketball Rules

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.

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 performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing 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 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.6 million in high school sports.

As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at

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