NFHS makes rules changes for 2012 season

Published 9:28 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The National Federation of State High School Associations Football Rules Committee recently approved the changes to eight rules for the 2012 season.

High school players must now sit out one play if their helmet comes off while the ball is live.

“It’s one of those things that if the helmet is worn properly it shouldn’t come off,” Goshen football head coach Bart Snyder said.

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It could be a big thing at the end of a game if your quarterback has to come out for a play. We hope that it is something that doesn’t happen but we know its is also something that is going to happen. But the safety reasons behind the rule make sense.”

In a release from the NFHS, Football Rules Committee chairman Julian Tackett explained the reason for the change.

“The committee made this rules change after reviewing date from multiple states regarding the frequency of helmets coming off during live -ball play,” Tackett said.

It is the committee’s hope that this serves notice for schools to properly fit players with helmets to reduce the incidence of these situations and remind the players not to take steps that alter the fit.”

The rules does not apply, however, if the helmet comes off due to a foul committed by the opposing team.

Another change is to the interpretation of a legal catch. A receiver must now have possession of the ball and contact the ground inbounds despite the opponents actions. Previously an official could rule the player would have come down inbounds had they not been prevented from doing so.

Other changes include commercial markings to be allowed on the field as long as they do not obstruct the yard lines, hash marks or nine-yard marks. Also, members of the kicking team are prohibited from initiating contact against members of the receiving team until the ball has broken the receiving team’s restraining line.

Changes were also made to expand the list of illegal equipment to include play card not worn on the wrists or arms. Also, grasping the tooth and mouth protector is a foul.

The committee also clarified by adding the direction in which the opponent was pulled during a horse-collar.