To read the press release, click here.
1-2-3: ART. 3 . . . ...centered on goal and parallel to and 20 yards (25 yards on unified field) from the goal line...
Rationale: Update for dimensions of unified field layout
1-2-4: ART. 4… ... marked on each side of the field 20 yards (25 yards on unified field) from the goal line...
Rationale: Update to reflect dimensions of the unified field
1-9-1f: ART. 1f . . . A protective cup or pelvic protector is recommended required for all players. Each player is personally responsible for wearing this protective equipment and the equipment shall not be modified from the manufactured state and shall be worn in the manner the manufacturer intended. Re-letter remaining items.
Rationale: One of the core beliefs of the NFHS Rules is the minimization of the inherent risk of sports. A protective cup helps prevent blunt trauma injuries to the groin area that can cause serious damage, including severe bruising, internal bleeding, testicular fracture, or rupture. This can have serious, if not permanent damage to athletes. One of the biggest concerns for opponents to this rule is that officials cannot and should not check to see if a player is wearing a protective cup. As noted above, protective cups should be verified only through the coaches' certification process.
2-8-2e: ART. 2e… The timekeeper will sound the horn twice at the next dead ball when:
1. A player enters the field of play from the penalty area before being permitted by the rules.
2. A player not legally in the game enters the field of play.
3. A player legally in the game leaves the field of play and does not make an immediate effort to return.
4. A player substituting for another deliberately delays his entry onto the field.
5. A player entering the game as a substitute under the conditions of Rule 4-21 fails to comply with the rules for entering the field of play.
6 2. The head coach requests a count of long crosses.
7. A player illegally exchanges his crosse.
Rationale: These changes will eliminate responsibilities for the timekeeper and table keeper that put them in the role of game official. In nearly all cases the volunteer table crew is not trained in the responsibilities or duties like officials. The above duties should be the responsibility of a CBO if one is used or the game officials.
3-1-2: ART. 2 . . . After the first half, any time the score differential reaches 12 goals or more, starting with the whistle resuming play, the clock will only be stopped for a team time-out, official's time-out, or an injury time-out. Should the score differential be reduced to fewer than 12 goals, then normal play will resume. All penalties that occur during a score differential situation will be running time. In this situation, running penalty time begins with the next whistle resuming play.
Rationale: Games that have a goal a differential of 12 goals or more can run for more than two hours and with my high school programs having one main field or stadium it can result in timing issues with other sports or activities. During the second half, the winning team will often put in JV players so they gain high-level playing experience.
4-3-3 a, b, c, f, g: ART. 3 . . .The official conducting the faceoff will start the procedure by holding the ball and bringing the players together, placing the ball on the midfield line at the spot on which the faceoff will take place.
a. The official shall indicate to the players the spot on which the faceoff will take place and instruct the players to prepare for the faceoff by saying "down."
b. Once the players are down, they are to move into their faceoff position as quickly as possible. Players may kneel or shall stand as they get into position for the faceoff and must remain standing until the whistle sounds to start play.
c. The crosses and gloves shall rest on the ground along the center line, parallel to each other up to, but not touching, the center line. All fingers of both hands shall be gloved and wrapped around the crosse. The crosse head and the gloved hands shall be touching the ground. The hand closer to the throat shall be in a palm-up position.
f. Once the players are in the proper position, the official shall place the ball on the ground, in between the head of each crosse, paying close attention to placing ensure that the crosses are positioned such that the ball is in the middle of the head of each crosse.
g. Once the official is satisfied with the placement of the ball and the positioning of the players' crosses, he shall instruct the players to remain motionless by saying "Set." The official will still have his hand on or near the ball or crosses when the command "set" is given. For hearing impaired players, a reasonable accommodation for the "set" command and whistle sound will be provided.
Rationale: One of the changes made this past season for Covid modifications was for officials to place the ball on the ground first to indicate where the faceoff will occur. This rule has provided a visible marker for where players shall setup up for the faceoff. Players standing rather than kneeling compliments the changes in a, f, and g to play the ball first. Restricts face-off players from using the "moto-grip" to favor a standing neutral grip. Like the previous rule proposals, this will result in a fair and safer faceoff.
4-3-3i (NEW): ART. 3 . . . Upon the whistle starting play, each player must attempt to play the ball first before they may body check their opponent.
Other Rules Affected 5-3-3: ART. 3 . . . Body checking of an opponent who has any part of their body other than their feet on the ground or while crouched for a faceoff.
Rationale: As a way to make the faceoff fair, safe, and result in fewer long stalemates this rule will ensure that faceoff players are playing the ball and not body checking or stick checking an opponent’s body.
4-4-2: ART. 2 . . . When the whistle sounds to start play, the players in the wing areas shall be released but must avoid body checking the faceoff players battling for control of the ball in the initial faceoff spot. All other players are confined to their areas until a player of either team has gained possession of the ball, the ball goes out of bounds, the ball crosses the defensive-area line, a whistle stops play for a time-serving foul, or whistle restarts play after a non-time-serving foul; when any of these events occur, the faceoff has ended. Players designated in the midfield area, and players designated within the defensive area may not interchange positions before possession have been called, and the faceoff has ended, but midfielders may substitute.
Rationale: Avoids checks to faceoff players that are in a potentially vulnerable position. This rule is already not well understood by players and coaches, and this change will codify what is not allowed and help protect players taking a faceoff.
4-5-3 NOTE: ART. 3 . . . Note: A ball in the air on a pass or a shot is a loose ball at all times, including after the horn sounds to end a period.
Rationale: This rule clarifies a ball that is not in possession is a loose ball.
4-9-2: ART. 2 . . . A goal shall be disallowed:
o. The ball is deflected or batted by the free hand or glove of an offensive player.
p. A goal will be allowed if the shot is released prior to the end of the period. Rule 4 Section 8
Other Rules Affected 6-6-2: ART. 2 . . . The following are examples of illegal procedure: a. Touching the ball – A player shall not touch the ball with their free hand or glove his hands while it is in play. The exception is the goalkeeper while both he and the ball are inside the crease.
Rationale: The general principle is that the gloved hand is part of the stick in most cases – the exception being when determining if a player has crossed a line. This clarifies that any time a player’s hand or glove is not on the stick and makes contact with the ball it is a technical foul. Hence a deflection off a free hand or glove results in no goal. It also makes clear that if the ball deflects off the hand/glove on the stick, the goal counts and that deflections off any other part of the offensive player will result in a good goal.
4-24-7: ART. 7 . . . Play shall be suspended immediately if any player, in a legal way, loses any mandatory equipment in the scrimmage area. If there is possession of the ball, the team in possession will maintain possession on the restart. If the ball is loose outside the crease, the ball will be awarded using the alternate-possession rule. If the ball is loose inside the crease, award the ball to the defensive team. If a player A1 not in possession of the ball accidentally loses mandatory equipment and no other players are in the immediate vicinity, then the play may continue. until A1 enters the scrimmage area or until the play is completed. If a player in possession of the ball loses mandatory equipment, play shall be suspended immediately, whether other players are in the immediate vicinity or not. A loss of equipment during the play of the game triggers an official's time-out and should not be confused with a player entering the game without some item(s) of mandatory equipment, which is a personal foul.
Rationale: This rule change removes some ambiguous language in the rulebook and clarifies how and when officials should stop play for equipment issues for non-goalies.
5-4-5: ART. 5 . . . A player shall not body check a player in a defenseless position. This includes but is not limited to: (a) body-checking a player from his "blind side;" (b) body checking a player who has his head down in an attempt to play a loose ball; and (c) body-checking a player whose head is turned away to receive a pass, even if that player turns toward the contact immediately before the body check; (d) body checking a player laying on the ground.
Rationale: Adds a prohibition on body checking while a player is on the ground in a defenseless position.
6-5-2x: ART. 2 . . . x. Failure to have and properly wear a tooth and mouth protector (unless it comes out during play).
Rationale: Clarifies the confusion around not having and having and not wearing a mouth protector. Also, updates the language here to be consistent with the language in Rule 1 Section 9 where a “tooth and mouth protector” not a mouthpiece is required equipment. Standard and consistent language makes searching an electronic version of the rules much easier.
7-2 f and g: (NEW) PENALTY TIME
f. A maximum of three players from the same team can be in the penalty area, serving penalties at the same time. The penalty time of any additional player(s) waiting to serve is stacked and shall not start until the penalty time of one of the three players in the penalty area expires. The additional penalized player(s) shall wait in the bench area immediately next to the scorer's table area but not in the table area. A player's penalty cannot be released by a goal A goal cannot release a player's penalty until he is in the penalty area and the time on his penalty has started to elapse.
g. In situations when multiple fouls occur during an extended slow-whistle situation, the following principles shall apply to administering the penalties:
1. Any player(s) already in the penalty box will remain there until their penalty is released.
2. If the sequence of fouls can be determined, the fouls will be administered and served in the order in which they occur, and nonreleasable penalties will be served before releasable penalties. If a player has multiple penalties, they will serve based on the sequence of the last foul.
3. If the sequence of fouls cannot be determined, the players with the most penalty time shall serve first, and nonreleasable penalties will be served before releasable penalties.
Rationale: Introduces the term stacking to the penalties section and moves and important note into the rule section. Subjective language “severe” is also being removed in favor of objective language for the penalty order of operations.
7-8-2i: ART. 2 . . . The official shall withhold the whistle until:
i. A second defensive foul is committed, unless scoring play shot is imminent in progress
Rationale: This rule change aims at clarification for when officials will delay blowing their whistle. A scoring play is a longer duration event as opposed to a shot the is imminent.