Last Updated: April 15, 2014

My Account
Login  ·  Signup
Add Site to Favorites
Go to MyLeagueLineup

Join Our EMail List
Visitor Counter

Select Category: 

NFHS Football Committee Report-2011
April 23, 2011

Chop Block Rule Redefined in High School Football


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 14, 2011) — A change in the definition of a chop block in high school football, along with a strong emphasis on proper use of the helmet to minimize risk of injury, highlighted the January 21-23 meeting of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee in Indianapolis.

The modification of the chop block rule was one of 11 rules changes recommended by the Football Rules Committee and approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The new language in Rule 2-3-8 defines a chop block as “a combination block by two or more teammates against an opponent other than the runner, with or without delay, where one of the blocks is low (at the knee or below) and one of the blocks is high (above the knee).”

Previous language defined a chop block as “a delayed block at the knees or below against an opponent who is in contact with a teammate of the blocker in the free-blocking zone.”

Bob Colgate, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Football Rules Committee, said that any combination block where one block is high (above the knee) and one block is low (at or below the knee) will constitute a chop block – with or without delay between the blocks. He also noted that a low-low combination block is no longer a chop block.

Although not an official rules change, perhaps the most significant action by the committee was the issuance of the 2011 Points of Emphasis on concussions, helmets and contact above the shoulders.

“The committee chose not to change many of the playing rules as it intends to ensure the continued focus on minimizing risk of injury to high school football players,” said Julian Tackett, chairman of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. “The minimal number of rules changes in high school football this year verifies that the country feels like the game is in great shape.”

In other rules changes, the committee standardized the rules regarding the replacement of apparently injured players, players who exhibit concussion signs and symptoms, and players who are bleeding or have blood on their body or uniform. Players removed in any of these situations must leave the game for at least one down, and the time-out is an officials’ time-out, not one charged to the team.

The rules committee also defined two types of authorized team conferences – the “Outside Nine-yard Mark Conference” and the “Between Nine-yard Mark Conference.” When an injury occurs and the referee grants an authorized conference, it must be an “Outside Nine-yard Mark Conference.” Colgate said this will provide medical personnel time and space to address the injured player.

Three changes were approved in Rule 1 – The Game, Field, Players and Equipment. In Rule 1-1-8, language was added to note that “game officials maintain administrative responsibilities for the contest through the completion of any required reports or correspondence in response to any action occurring while the officials have jurisdiction.” The revised rule further notes that “state associations may intercede in the event of unusual incidents after the officials have signaled the end of the game or in the event a game is terminated prior to the conclusion of regulation play.”

In Rule 1-5-1, the detailed specifications for thigh guards were deleted because they were not necessarily applicable to newer technologies used in current production. The requirements for wearing thigh guards and that the guards be unaltered from the manufacturer’s original design/production remain part of the rule.

Restrictions on eye shade were added to Rule 1-5-3c. If used, eye shade must be applied using a single solid stroke under each eye.

“The committee’s intent was that eye shade be located below and within the width of the eye socket and not extend below the cheekbone,” Colgate said. “No words, numbers, logos or other symbols of any type may be included within the eye shade.”

Four changes were approved by the committee in Rule 9 – Conduct of Players and Others. Those revisions include the following:

·       All horse-collar fouls being treated as live-ball fouls.

·       Roughing-the-passer penalties being enforced from the dead-ball spot when there is no change of team possession and the dead-ball spot is beyond the line of scrimmage.

·       The illegal participation rule including a player who intentionally goes out of bounds and, while out of bounds, affects the play, touches the ball or otherwise participates.

·       Establishing an unsportsmanlike foul against the head coach for failure to adhere to the limits on squad members being on the field of play during the coin toss.

NFHS Rule Revisions 2011
April 23, 2011

National Federation of State High School Associations

2011 Football Rules Revisions

1.  Administrative duties of game officials were clarified to note they may  need to continue after the game to document actions that occurred during the game.

2.  The thigh guard standard was revised, but the requirements for  wearing thigh guards and that the guards be  unaltered from the manufacturer’s original design/production remains part of the rule.

3.  Eye shade restrictions were adopted, including location of eye shade on  the face  and that no words, numbers, logos or other symbols of any  type may  be included within the eye  shade.

4.  Definition of a chop block  was modified, and a low-low combination block  is no  longer a chop block.

5.  Injury  time-out conferences are restricted to outside nine-yard marks to allow appropriate health-care professionals time and space to address the injured player.

6.  Rules were standardized regarding the replacement of apparently injured players, players who exhibit concussion signs  and symptoms, and players who are bleeding or have blood on  their body or uniform.

7.  All horse-collar fouls  are  to be treated as live-ball fouls.

8.  Penalties for  roughing the passer are  now enforced from the dead-ball spot when there is no change of team possession, and the dead-ball spot is beyond the line  of scrimmage if A maintains possession.

9.  The illegal participation rule  has been extended to apply to a player who intentionally goes out of bounds and, while out of bounds, affects the play,  touches the ball or otherwise participates.

10.   An unsportsmanlike penalty will now be  assessed to the head coach for  violation of the restrictions contained in Rule 3-2-2.

11.   The point differential note in the nine-, eight- and six-player rules differences has  been removed.

POINT OF EMPHASIS Concussions, Contact with the Helmet and Helmet Fitting

2011 NFHS Rule Comments
2011 NFHS Rule Interpretations

SITUATION 1 (6.1.6): With 4th and 5 from K’s 30-yard line, K9 punts the ball downfield where it is grounded and touched by K88 (first touching) at R’s 30. The ball continues rolling and is picked up by R35 at R’s 25-yard line. R 35 is subsequently hit and fumbles at R’s 28. The loose ball is recovered by K88 on the ground at R’s 26. During the kick, R55 is flagged for holding. RULING: If K accepts R’s foul for holding, then it is enforced from the previous spot with a re-kick since post-scrimmage kick cannot apply as K is next to put the ball in play as a result of the play. If K accepts the foul, the awarded spot for illegal touching is not applied. If K declines R’s foul, R will take the ball at the spot of first touching. (2-12-1, 2; 2-16-2h)
SITUATION 2 (9.4.8): A1 is illegally in motion at the snap. The play goes to the sideline where one of B’s coaches makes unintentional contact with a game official (9-4-8). RULING: Both fouls will be penalized, first the live-ball foul for A’s illegal motion, then the 15 yards for unintentional contact in the restricted area. The 9-4-8 foul is a nonplayer foul and is therefore penalized as a dead-ball foul, even though the contact occurred during a live ball. (2-16-2f; 10-4-5c)
SITUATION 3 (9.6.2): K1 free-kicks the ball toward the sideline. R1 runs to a sideline and intentionally steps out of bounds. While R1 is still out of bounds, he intentionally touches the ball as it nears the sideline. The ball is declared dead by the covering official. RULING: Illegal participation by R1. This is not a kick out of bounds as the ball was touched by an R player and the ball became dead when it was touched. (4-3-1; 6-1-8)

2011 NFHS Football Rules Book Clarifications
(Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.):
Page 64, RULE 8-2-2: ...(other than unsportsmanlike conduct on or a nonplayer foul)…; Page 64, RULE 8-2-3: ...(other than unsportsmanlike conduct on or a nonplayer foul)… .

2011 NFHS Football Rules PowerPoint Clarification
(Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.):
Slide #44 under 2011 Football Rules Reminders. Need to make a change in the text on the slide below the pictures: If a player, coach or nonplayer is in the restricted zone while the ball is live but does not contact a game official, a warning is issued for the first offense. The second instance results in a five-yard penalty and the third offense results in a 15-yard penalty and disqualification of the head coach.

Dues reminder
If you have yet to pay your dues ($80), they were due Oct. 31.  Please contact Secretary-Treasurer Jon Kay if you are late.
NFHS Rule Revisions 2012
2012 Points of Emphasis
2012 Rule Interpretations
Referee development program

If you are interested in joining the referee development program, please contact Marc Negrin- 

Section XI has posted varsity and JV schedules. Please print and accept ASAP. Fax (366-4334) or mail back to Section XI. 
Black pants and shorts
Gents. Black shorts and black pants became optional attire in New York in 2010. If you are interested in the black pants in 2011, here is some advice. They run small. If you have a 34 waist, you should order a size 36. They all come unhemmed. When you get them hemmed, it is recommended that you get them double-stitched. They only come in even sizes (30-54). There is a warm weather version and a cold weather version. The black shorts come in Medium, Large, XL, 2X, 3X and 4X. The pants will cost $38. The shorts will cost $25. Once you wear the pants, you'll see why the colleges have done away with knickers and gone exclusively with these pants. They are that comfortable and give a more professional look. 
NFHS News-Concussion

Concussion Rule Revised, Strengthened in High School Football


Contact: Bob Colgate

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 4, 2010) — Effective with the 2010 high school football season, any player who shows signs, symptoms or behaviors associated with a concussion must be removed from the game and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.

The concussion rule was one of 12 changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its meeting last month in Indianapolis. The rule changes subsequently were approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The previous rule directed officials to remove an athlete from play if “unconscious or apparently unconscious.” The previous rule also allowed for return to play based on written authorization by a medical doctor. Now, officials are charged with removing any player who shows signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion, such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems, and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.

“Given that the vast majority of concussions do not include a loss of consciousness, but that athletes often show obvious evidence of concussion, the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) strongly believes that officials must continue to be empowered to remove these athletes from play, thus protecting them from further injury,” said Dr. Michael Koester, chair of the SMAC. “Continued participation in any sport following a concussion can lead to worsening concussion symptoms, as well as increased risk for further injury to the brain and even death.

“The safety of the athlete is of paramount concern during any athletic contest. Officials, coaches and administrators are being asked to make all efforts at ensuring that concussed athletes do not continue to participate. Thus, coaches, players and administrators should also be looking for signs of concussion in all athletes and should immediately remove any suspected concussed athlete from play.”

In addition to football, the new concussion language is being placed in all NFHS rules books for the 2010-11 season, as well as the “NFHS Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion.”

Among the other changes were four pertaining to equipment, two dealing with player conduct, one concerning penalty options on scoring plays and three others in Rule 3 dealing with periods, time factors and substitution.

“The NFHS Football Rules Committee continues to focus its primary efforts toward maintaining the highest level of player safety,” said Julian Tackett, executive assistant commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee. “This is evidenced by several rule changes related to equipment and concussions that were approved for 2010 following review by the NFHS SMAC. The rules of the game are in very good order and our members felt that no substantial changes were necessary beyond our emphasis on the health and welfare of the high school student-athlete.”

Among the equipment changes was approval of a new football glove/hand pad standard for the 2012 season. Beginning in 2012, gloves, which may be anchored with athletic tape and even though modified, must meet the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) test standards at the time of manufacture.

Other equipment changes include removal of restrictions on penalty-marker colored pads or gloves; revisions in the padding rule for guards, casts and braces; and clarification of the illegal player equipment rule.

In Rule 9-4-3k, the committee approved a clarification to the horse-collar rule. The wording in the definition of a horse-collar was changed to address situations when player possession was lost or the ball became dead by rule after the back or side of the jersey collar/shoulder pads were grasped.

“Under the previous rule, if the horse-collar occurred inbounds, but the tackle was completed out of bounds, in the end zone or after a loss of player possession, a horse-collar foul could not be called as the player was no longer a runner,” said Bob Colgate, NFHS assistant director and liaison to both the Football Rules Committee and the SMAC. “The wording was modified to ensure that a horse-collar foul could be called even if the runner no longer had possession of the ball or the ball became dead by rule.”

In Rule 8-2, six existing articles were refined and a new article created regarding fouls on scoring plays that have succeeding spot enforcement. Colgate said the changes now give both teams the same options when a non-player or unsportsmanlike conduct foul is committed during a down in which a touchdown is scored.

In other changes, the point differential rule by state adoption was modified to allow state associations to terminate a game at any point once the point differential is reached. Previously, the end of the first half was the earliest termination of a game by rule. In Rule 3-2-2, coin toss provisions were revised to state that no more than four captains per team can be on the field of play for the coin toss. In Rule 3-7-1, the committee revised the timeframe for replacing players from “immediately” to “within three seconds.”

Finally, the rules committee altered field markings in nine-, eight- and six-player football. All players who participated in the previous down and all substitutes must be momentarily between the 7-yard marks if they play on regulation 80-yard fields.

NFHS 2010 Mechanics Changes
NFHS Football Rules Committee

From: Bob Colgate, Assistant Director
Dale Pleimann, Chair of NFHS Football Officials Manual Committee

Subject: Approved Major Changes to the 2010 and 2011 NFHS Football Officials Manual

The following are the major changes approved by the 2010 NFHS Football Officials Manual Committee for the 2010 and 2011 high school football seasons:

1. The Five-Man Mechanics come before the Four-Man Mechanics in the NFHS Football Officials Manual.

2. By state association adoption, officials have the choice of wearing white or black officiating shorts. The entire crew shall be dressed alike.

3. By state association adoption, foul weather, full length, lined black pants with a single 1 ¼ inch white stripe down each leg may be worn in place of the standard, all-white tapered knickers if worn by the entire crew.

4. The Back Judge shall carry two different color bean bags; one for marking the end of the kick and one for marking first touching.

5. The Back Judge and Line Judge bring approved game ball from each team to the coin-toss if footballs are being run off of both sidelines.

6. The Referee’s normal starting position be moved to one that is visible to the clock operator, approximately 10- yards deep and 5-yards wide of the huddle when marking the ball ready-for-play on scrimmage downs.

7. The Line Judge temporarily move to nine-yard marks (top of the numbers), as receiving team is lining up for a free kick. (Four-Man Mechanics)

8. The Referee’s scrimmage kick punt position be adjusted to 3-5 yards outside the tight end and 2-3 yards behind the kicker, on line judge’s side of the field. (4 man crew)

9. If the football falls or blows off tee just prior to free kick, Back Judge sounds whistle to prevent action and moves to kicker to give instructions.

10. The Back Judge assists with relay of the football in side zone from wing official to Umpire.

11. The Referee’s position changed to 3-5 yards outside the tight end and 2-3 yards behind the kicker, on kicking-leg side on scrimmage kick punts. (5 man mechanics)

12. The Back Judge’s position changed to 10-12 yards wider than and 2-3 yards behind the deepest receiver on linesman’s side of field on scrimmage kicks.

13. The Referee’s position changed to 2-3 yards to rear and 3-5 yards to side of potential kicker, facing holder and able to see holder receive the football on field goal attempts or trys. (5 man mechanics
From NFHS - Horse Collar Penalized
The horse-collar tackle has been added to the list of illegal personal contact fouls in high school football.

This addition to Rule 9-4-3 was one of 10 rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its January 24-25 meeting in Indianapolis. The rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Effective with the 2009 season, it will be illegal to grab the inside back or side collar of the runner's shoulder pads or jersey and subsequently pull the runner to the ground. The penalty will be 15 yards from the succeeding spot.

Julian Tackett, assistant commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee, said the committee felt the need to continue to address risk minimization issues for the runner.

"Risk minimization continues to be one of the most important fundamentals to the rules-writing process of the NFHS," Tackett said. "Though this play does not happen often, we must ensure that our coaches and officials understand the importance of penalizing this act."

Another risk-minimization change in Rule 9-4-3 will make it illegal to grasp an opponent's chin strap, in addition to the opponent's face mask or edge of a helmet opening.

The committee made a significant change in Rule 9-8-3 in an effort to reduce the risk of injury along the sidelines. A maximum of three coaches may be in the restricted area to communicate with players during dead-ball situations. Before the ball becomes live, however, the coaches must retreat into the team box.

Bob Colgate, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Football Rules Committee, said this rule change results in a 2-yard belt that is clear of team personnel and helps eliminate sideline congestion while helping to minimize the risk for participating players, coaches and officials during live-ball situations.

"There no longer will be an allowance for three coaches to remain in an area adjacent to the sideline when the ball is live," Colgate said. "The results of a three-year experiment were favorable, which led to the committee's support for this rule change in 2009."

A change in Rule 9-8-1g clarifies that the mandatory three-minute warm-up period begins immediately following the conclusion of the halftime intermission. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will be assessed to the head coach if the team is not back on the field prior to the start of the warm-up period.

Changes in Rules 7-2-5 and 2-14-2 clarify the numbering-exception rule from when it was originally approved in 1982.

"The definition of a scrimmage-kick formation was clarified to differentiate formations that have been used traditionally for attempting a field goal or kick try from those used for a punt," Colgate said. "In addition, the circumstances under which the numbering exception can be utilized have been changed to clarify what can be done on first, second, third and fourth downs."

Two changes were made in Rule 1 - The Game, Field, Players and Equipment. The committee clarified Rule 1-3-1c regarding the stripes on the football. The change states that the stripes located on the football must be adjacent to and perpendicular to the seam upon which the laces are stitched. In Rule 1-2-3b, a note was added stating that all required field markings must be clearly visible. Further, when other markings such as logos are placed on the field, the required markings shall remain visible.

Other changes approved by the Football Rules Committee:

· Rule 3-3-4b5 - If a penalty resulting in a safety occurs on the last timed down of a period, the period is not extended. The teams will change goals to start the next period.

· Rules 8-2-2, 8-2-3, 8-2-4 (new), 10-5-1f - Three rules were revised and a new article was created regarding penalty enforcement for dead-ball, non-player or unsportsmanlike fouls that occur during or after a touchdown-scoring play. The revisions now allow the offended team, in most situations, the option of enforcing the penalty on the subsequent kickoff. Fouls committed after the initial ready-for-play signal following the touchdown are not affected by this change.

· Rule 9-7-2 Exception: A foul will now occur for illegal batting by the kicking team if it bats a scrimmage kick that has not yet been grounded unless it is batted by the kicking team toward its own goal line.

"Though many of the changes in the rules were subtle clarifications, each of this year's changes ensures that the sound traditions of the game are protected and that student-athlete safety remains our top priority," Tackett said.

In addition, the committee identified six points of emphasis for the 2009 season: Illegal Personal Contact, Blocking and Illegal Blocks, Helmet and Face Mask, Uniforms, Sportsmanship and NFHS Guidelines on Handling Contests During Lightning Disturbances.

Information Packet
As a reminder, varsity crews need 6 games together to be eligible for consideration for the playoffs.
NEW: 1st edition of the SCFOA Newsletter

One of the goals of the newly elected Board is to improve the communications within our membership.  One of the ideas was to create a newsletter that will highlight articles on rules, Board updates, fellow officials.  We will be looking for your input in future editions.

powered by

Suffolk County Football Officials Association

 Administration Login