INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 15, 2019) — Five of the seven rules changes
in high school basketball concern player equipment, including new
uniform provisions that will be required in the 2024-25 season.
seven rules revisions recommended by the National Federation of State
High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee at its April
23-25 meeting in Indianapolis were subsequently approved by the NFHS
Board of Directors.
Effective with the 2024-25 season, the
number on the jersey can no longer be the same color as the jersey
itself. Currently, the number can be the same color as the jersey if it
is bordered by a contrasting color. Despite the contrasting-color
border, the committee said the number is still difficult to see in many
cases. The other two options in Rule 3-4-3e regarding the color of the
number remain in effect.
A five-year implementation date was approved to allow schools time to budget for purchasing new uniforms.
other changes were approved in Rule 3 – Players, Substitutes and
Equipment. A new rule, 3-5-8, provides recommendations for use of a
mouthguard. Though not required, the committee noted that state
associations may deem a tooth and mouth protector required equipment.
note was added to Rule 3-5-5 to permit folding or rolling the shorts at
the natural waistband seam. The new language does state that the shorts
have to be in compliance with Rule 3-4-5, which restricts uniform
pants/skirts to one visible manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference.
Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials and liaison to the
Basketball Rules Committee, said this addition to Rule 3-5-5 modernizes
the rule and allows players to adjust the shorts in a manner that serves
no harm to the game or its integrity.
other equipment changes deal with headbands and hair-control devices in
Rule 3-5-4. The maximum width of the headband was expanded from 2 inches
to 3 inches to be consistent with the rules for volleyball and
accommodate athletes who play both sports. In addition, in 3-5-4d,
hair-control devices are not required to meet color restrictions. Wynns
noted that a hair-control device goes around the hair only, while a
headband goes around the entire head.
another change, assistant coaches now will be able to go onto the court
with the head coach in an effort to restore order when a fight breaks
out among players.
“It can be difficult for
officials to separate players involved in a fight on the court,” Wynns
said. “This change will allow assistant coaches to enter the court with
the head coach to assist officials in regaining control of the situation
and restoring player safety.”
The final change
approved by the Basketball Rules Committee is a change in the signal
when a held ball occurs. Now, when a held ball occurs, the covering
official(s) shall stop the clock using Signal #2 (straight arm, open
palm extended) while simultaneously sounding the whistle.
change should help to alleviate conflicting calls by officials when a
held ball occurs,” Wynns said. “We currently raise one arm to stop the
clock for everything except the jump/held ball.”
to the 2018-19 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey,
basketball is the third-most popular sport for boys with 551,373
participants in 18,510 schools and the third-most popular sport for
girls with 412,407 participants in 18,171 schools.