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Jul 08 One-Way Electronic Communication Approved For High School Softball
 

Source: NFHS

High school softball coaches will be able to use electronic devices in the dugout for one-way communication to the catcher while the team is on defense beginning in 2025.

This landmark change was the highlight of the NFHS Softball Rules Committee’s two rules recommendations, which were forwarded as a result of the committee’s annual rules meeting held June 9-11 at The Alexander hotel in Indianapolis. The NFHS Board of Directors approved both rules changes to take effect next year.

“This change is the result of analysis of current data, state association experimentation and a positive response from the membership,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Softball Rules Committee. “The committee has made these changes to support the use of emerging technology within the sport of softball. Being a permissive rule, the use of this one-way electronic communication will allow those who choose to embrace the technology an additional option to communicate with the catcher while on defense. It will also maintain the ability for those who prefer a more traditional approach to communicate using signals or a playbook/playcard to continue that approach.”

Accommodating one-way communication to the catcher brought new language to two different sections of the NFHS Softball Rules Book, starting with Rule 1-8-6. Devices such as earpieces, electronic bands and “smart” watches are now permitted as an EXCEPTION within the rule provided the player does not utilize said device to return correspondence to the coaching staff. Prior to this change, team personnel could “record or transmit information pertaining to their players or team’s performance,” but could not communicate that information directly to players on the field during play.

Since both rules were updated for this change, the penalty from Rule 3-6-11 was added to Rule 1-8-6 as well, with violators subject to ejection unless the offense is ruled to be “of a minor nature.” This penalty has been in place for Rule 3-6-11 allowing the umpire to issue a warning if the offense is minor and then eject if the offense is repeated.

In addition to permitting the one-way communication devices, the updated version of Rule 3-6- 11 regarding “Bench and Field Conduct” specifies that coaches are prohibited from using the device “to communicate with any other team member while on defense or any team member while on offense” and the coach cannot use the device “outside the dugout/bench area.”

The second rules alteration for the 2025 season occurred in Rule 9-3-2b, where the Scoring and Record Keeping details surrounding a player’s batting record were edited to align with the enforcement in Rule 8-6-11, which covers the runner’s actions and provides the direct penalty for those actions.

A complete listing of the softball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Softball.”

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, 344,952 girls in 15,406 high schools played fast-pitch softball in 2022-23 making it the fifth-most popular girls sport, while an additional 6,058 girls participated in slow-pitch softball.

2025 NFHS Softball Rules Changes

 

   
June 26 Risk Minimization At Forefront Of High School Boys Lacrosse Rules Changes
 

Source: NFHS

Risk minimization – particularly as it relates to lost equipment during play, proper wearing of the helmet and appropriate instances for checking an opponent’s crosse – was the focus of the rules changes forwarded by the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee for the 2025 season.

These topic areas headlined the eight total rules changes recommended by the committee, which discussed and compiled its proposals at its annual rules meeting held June 4-6 at The Alexander hotel in Indianapolis. All eight changes were subsequently accepted by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“This year, the committee focused on equipment and making sure that student-athletes are protected when it comes to what they are wearing,” said Dr. James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports and liaison to the Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee. “The committee has done an excellent job in reducing the risks for players, coaches and officials. The committee also continued its goal of simplifying the way lacrosse is officiated by simplifying certain rules and simplifying more complex rules.”

Rule 4-24-7 was edited to mandate that officials stop play any time a player in the scrimmage area loses a piece of mandatory equipment, regardless of how the equipment is lost or whether other players are in the immediate vicinity. Previously, the rule stated that a player must lose the equipment “in a legal way” for a stoppage to occur and that no stoppage was required if the player was deemed far enough away from the action. Now, play may only continue if the player who lost the mandatory equipment did so outside the scrimmage area.

A small but impactful change was made to Rule 1-9-1a clarifying that the helmet must be worn with the chin strap “on” the chin rather than “under,” as previously written, while being firmly attached at all the helmet’s manufactured attachment points. Regarding player safety, the slight alteration to this rule should make for a more secure helmet fit.

The three instances where a player can use his crosse to check an opponent’s crosse are now more clearly laid out in Rule 4-16. According to the new listing, a legal check of an opponent’s crosse can be performed when the opponent: (a) has possession of the ball; (b) is within 5 yards of a loose ball; or (c) is within 5 yards of a ball in flight.    

Rules 1-2-7 and 1-2-8 will now feature an accompanying diagram that will aid in the correct field setup for the table and coaches’ areas along the sideline. The diagram will also reflect minor adjustments to the table area measurements that will align it with the markings in the NCAA and USA Lacrosse rules books and are intended to streamline the on-the-fly substitution process.

The table area was also the focus of the new Rule 4-22-4 stating that “any restart within the confines of the table area, or within 5 yards on either side of the table area, shall be moved 5 yards into the field from the sideline.” Previously, the only mention of this particular type of restart was found in Rule 4-6-2 Situation A – the section of the rules book that deals with “out-of-bounds” scenarios – highlighting the need to provide official rules language in Rule 4-22 regarding restarts.

Rule 4 was the subject of a third change, as a portion of Rule 4-3-1 was reverted to its previous language. The rule, which establishes that faceoffs be held at the center of the field to start a period or following a goal, also features four infraction-related exceptions that nullify the ensuing faceoff and award possession to the non-offending team. Those exceptions were shortened and simplified as part of the 2023 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Changes but have now been reinstated in their expanded, fully defined form to provide additional context for new officials.  

Finally, two changes were applied to different sections of Rule 7, amending protocols for the “slow whistle technique” used by officials as well as inadvertent whistles. The slow whistle technique covered in Rule 7-8-3 will now be used “when a personal foul is committed against the team last in possession during a shot or pass” in addition to “when a foul is committed against the player in possession of the ball or some other member of the attacking team.” Rule 7-13-3 addresses inadvertent whistles and now includes a clause that calls for a new faceoff if an inadvertent whistle is blown during the faceoff process.

A complete listing of the boys lacrosse rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Lacrosse-Boys.”

According to the NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey for the 2022-23 academic year, 111,108 boys participate in lacrosse in 3,086 high schools across the country.

2025 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Changes

 

   
June 26 Risk Minimization And Sportsmanship Addressed in 2025 Baseball Rules Changes
 

Source: NFHS

High school baseball players using non-wood bats will have greater flexibility in using substances to enhance their grip on the bat with a change that brings consistency to Rule 1-3-2.

This rule revision was one of two proposed by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee after its annual rules meeting held June 2-4 at The Alexander hotel in Indianapolis. The rules changes were accepted by the NFHS Board of Directors and are effective with the 2025 season.

Rule 1-3-2c1 addresses allowable grips on non-wood bats and now includes clarification that resin, pine tar or another drying agent can be applied to the bat, not to exceed beyond 18 inches from the base of the knob. In addition to allowing players more grip control on their bats, it makes the standards the same as wood bats.

"For years, players using wood bats had the luxury of being allowed to use substances that ensure better grip,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS Director of Sports and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee. “This rule change permits users of non-wood bats the same opportunity to protect others while maintaining a firm and solid grip of the baseball bat. Both styles of bats can now enjoy the ability to improve their grip and hold while not interfering with the ball-striking area of the bat.”

The other rules change relates to forfeited games. Rule 4-4-1 outlines the conditions that can result in a forfeit and item ‘c’ now includes the failure to remove an ejected coach or team personnel from the game as a reason an umpire may force a team to forfeit. Previously, only an ejected player was listed.

“Rule 4-4 is more about coaches maintaining proper decorum for their players and coaching staff,” Hopkins said. “If the emotional rigors of the game become overwhelming for students and coaches, this rule intends to bring the offending parties back to the center of the reason for education-based athletics.”

A complete listing of the baseball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Baseball.”

According to the 2022-23 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, baseball is the fourth most popular boys sport with 478,451 boys participating in 15,978 high schools across the country.

2025 NFHS Baseball Rules Changes

 

   
June 17 Referee Magazine 2024 Volleyball Rules Challenge
 

Hey Volleyball Officials, take the Referee Magazine Volleyball Rules Challenge! It's a good way to sharpen your rules knowledge as you prepare for your NFHS exams in a couple of weeks! If you dont have an account the link to create one is near the bottom of the page. If you aren't able to finish the Rules Challenge in one setting, you can resume where you left off.

Link: Referee Magazine 2024 Volleyball Rules Challenge

 

2024 Referee Magazine Volleyball Rules Challenge

 

   
June 15 Referee Magazine 2024 Football Rules Challenge
 

Hey Football Officials, take the Referee Magazine Football Rules Challenge! It's a good way to sharpen your rules knowledge as you prepare for your NFHS exams in a couple of weeks! If you dont have an account the link to create one is near the bottom of the page. If you aren't able to finish the Rules Challenge in one setting, you can resume where you left off.

Link: Referee Magazine 2024 Football Rules Challenge

 

2024 Referee Magazine Football Rules Challenge

 

   
June 02 WE NEED YOU!
 

Please consider officiating high school sports for the 2024-25 sports season! NCHSAA Registration for all sports is NOW OPEN. The Football, Volleyball, and Soccer 2024-25 seasons start soon! if you have any questions before you register, please do not hesitate to contact the Regional Supervisor Of Officials for the sport(s) you are interested in officiating. They will give you information on registration, clinics, scrimmages, and where to purchase referee equipment.

Become An Official

 

   
May 25 2024 NCHSAA Baseball Championships
 

The 2024 NCHSAA Baseball State Championships will be held Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st!

For Baseball, the 2-A and 4-A Classifications will be contested at Burlington Athletic Stadium in Burlington, NC. The address is 1450 Graham Street, Burlington, NC 27217. The 1-A and 3-A Classifications will be contested at Ting Stadium in Holly Springs, NC. The address is 101 Tennis Court, Holly Springs, NC 27540.

Officials are admitted FREE With your 2024 Baseball Officials pass. You must request your officials pass through the DragonFly website or app. If you plan on attending, make sure to request your pass NOW to allow enough time for it to be approved. If you dont have an officials pass you can still attend by purchasing a ticket here: Baseball State Championship Tickets - NCHSAA

For those unable to attend the State championships in person, they will also be broadcast live on the NFHS Network and available on-demand following the contests. (requires a subscription)

2024 NCHSAA Baseball State Championships

 

   
May 24 2024 NCHSAA Softball Championships
 

The 2024 NCHSAA Softball State Championships will be held Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st!

The Softball 1-A and 3-A Classifications will be contested at Duke University. The address is 4 Brodie Drive, Durham, NC 27705.. The 2-A and 4-A Classifications will be contested at the University Of North Carolina at Greensboro. The address is 1408 Walker Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27402.

Officials are admitted FREE With your 2024 Softball Officials pass. You must request your officials pass through the DragonFly website or app. If you plan on attending, make sure to request your pass NOW to allow enough time for it to be approved. If you dont have an officials pass you can still attend by purchasing a ticket here: Softball State Championship Tickets - NCHSAA

For those unable to attend the State championships in person, they will also be broadcast live on the NFHS Network and available on-demand following the contests. (requires a subscription)

2024 NCHSAA Softball State Championships

 

   
May 23 2024 NCHSAA Women's Soccer Championships
 

The 2024 NCHSAA Women's Soccer State Championships will be held Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st! For the first time the NCHSAA soccer state championships will be played in Charlotte, NC at the Mecklenberg County Sportsplex! The address is 2425 Sports Parkway, Matthews, NC 28105.

The 4-A Championship will be contested on Friday, May 31st at 7:00PM. The 1-A, 2-A, and 3-A championships will be contetsed on Saturday, June 1st. The match times are 11:00am, 2:30pm, and 6:00pm.

Soccer officials are admitted FREE With your 2023-24 Soccer Officials pass. You must request your officials pass through the DragonFly website or app. If you plan on attending, make sure to request your pass NOW to allow enough time for it to be approved. If you dont have an officials pass you can still attend by purchasing a ticket here: Women's Soccer State Championship Tickets - NCHSAA

For those unable to attend the State championships in person, they will also be broadcast live on the NFHS Network and available on-demand following the contests. (requires a subscription)

2024 NCHSAA Women's Soccer State Championships

 

   
May 15 2024-25 NCHSAA Registration Now Open!
 

Registration is NOW OPEN for the NCHSAA 2024-25 Sports Seasons! Fall sports (Football, Volleyball, and Men's Soccer) are up first! Those seasons are quickly approaching! Make sure to sign up early to ensure that you have your rule books prior to the state clinics and the NFHS Exams which begin around mid July. Be sure to check the specific sports section on our website for all the dates pertaining to your sports season!

NCHSAA REGISTRATION LINK: http://www.nchsaa.org/officials

 

NCHSAA

 

   
May 08 2024 NCHSAA Men's/Women's Lacrosse Championships
 

The 2024 NCHSAA Men's/Women's Lacrosse State Championships will be held Friday, May 17th and Saturday, May 18th at Durham County Memorial Stadium in Durham, NC. The address is 750 Stadium Drive, Durham, NC 27704.

The 4-A Men's and Women's Championship will be contested on Friday, May 17th. The match times are 5:00pm and 8:00PM. The 1-A/2-A/3-A Men's/Women's Championships will be contetsed on Saturday, June 1st. The match times are 11:00am, 2:00pm.

Men's/Women's Lacrosse officials are admitted FREE With your 20234 Lacrosse Officials pass. You must request your officials pass through the DragonFly website or app. If you plan on attending, make sure to request your pass NOW to allow enough time for it to be approved. If you dont have an officials pass you can still attend by purchasing a ticket here: Lacrosse State Championship Tickets - NCHSAA

For those unable to attend the State championships in person, they will also be broadcast live on the NFHS Network and available on-demand following the contests. (requires a subscription)

2024 NCHSAA Lacrosse State Championships

 

May 02 Flopping Addressed In 2024-25 High School Basketball Rules Changes
 

Source: NFHS

A new definition and subsequent warning for faking being fouled (flopping) has been added to the NFHS Basketball Rules Book for the 2024-25 season.

This revision to high school basketball rules was one of 12 changes approved by the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee at its April 9-11 meeting in Indianapolis. All recommended changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“The committee approved changes addressing a variety of different areas,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports. “Maintaining a focus on player safety, fairness, balance and rules that officials can effectively adjudicate continue to be the focus of the committee.”

 Faking being fouled is defined in Rule 4-49-1 as when a player simulates being fouled or makes theatrical or exaggerated movements when there is no illegal contact. Examples include, but are not limited to, embellishing the impact of incidental contact on block/charge plays or field goal attempts, using a “head bob” to simulate illegal contact and using any tactic to create an opinion of being fouled to gain an advantage.

The new language also establishes a procedure for officials to issue a team warning on the first instance of faking being fouled. The warning is recorded in the scorebook and reported to the head coach. Any additional instances will result in a team technical foul and not a player technical foul, which was previously the case.

“(The committee) is hoping to get those dishonest acts out of the game,” said Billy Strickland, the executive director of the Alaska School Activities Association and chair of the Basketball Rules Committee.

A change to Rule 3-4-4a removes the restriction of only lettering being allowed on the front of the jersey. If a logo or mascot is displayed on the front, it must be centered directly above the number in place of identifying names. This change does not require schools to purchase new uniforms and may allow some schools to wear current uniforms that were previously not permitted.

A new note to Rule 9-10-1a and edit to Rule 4-10 allows states that utilize a 35-second shot clock to choose to eliminate the five-second closely guarded provision while a player dribbles the ball. The closely guarded rules remain in effect while a player holds the ball regardless of whether or not a state utilizes a shot clock.

Other rules changes approved by the committee include the following.

  • Rule 1-19 clarifies that the use of electronic devices during the game must be limited to recording and tracking stats, reviewing plays or similar contest-related functions. The use of electronic devices for voice or video recording is prohibited.
  • Rule 2-11-11 notes that if multiple scorers are at the scorer’s bench, the scorer(s) that is not official is responsible for comparing records with the official scorer, who then would notify a referee immediately of a discrepancy. This allows the official scorer to remain focused on game play and places the responsibility of comparing scoring information on auxiliary scorers.
  • Rule 3-3-6 states that if bench personnel are beckoned to attend to an injured player, whether they enter the court or not, the player is subject to removal from the game unless the coach requests a time-out.
  • If a player is bleeding or has blood on the uniform, Rule 3-3-7 now allows the player to remain in the game if the issue can be resolved in 20 seconds.
  • A new exception to Rule 4-6-1 involving basket interference allows for the net to be contacted and play continue if the official determines the contact to not affect the try for a goal.
  • A collection of changes to rules 4-47-5, 10-2-1g and 10-4-5 allows officials to issue a team warning for delay of game when a ball is not immediately passed to an official when a whistle sounds. Any subsequent violations now result in a team technical instead of a player technical.
  • Rule 7-1-1 establishes that a player cannot be assisted by a team member or bench personnel outside the boundary line to remain inbounds.
  • Pregame violations were addressed in a series of changes in Rule 10. If both teams violate provisions listed in Rules 10-1-1, 10-1-2 and 10-2-7 in equal numbers, the penalties offset, and no free throws are awarded. Additionally, the head coach would not lose the privilege of the coaching box. Similarly, the penalty for dunking or attempting to dunk a dead ball in Rule 10-2-7 no longer requires the coach to lose coaching box privileges and no personal foul is assessed as it is now a team technical and not a bench technical.

A complete listing of the basketball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Basketball.”

NFHS 2024 Basketball Rules Changes

 

   
April 25 Participants Now Inbounds With One Point Of Contact In High School Wrestling
 

Source: NFHS

Beginning with the 2024-25 season, high school wrestlers will be inbounds with only one point of contact of either wrestler inside or on the boundary line.

This fundamental change to high school wrestling was one of six major changes impacting almost 30 rules recommended by the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee at its April 1-3 meeting in Indianapolis. All recommended changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Previously, high school wrestlers were considered to be inbounds if a total of two supporting points of either wrestler were inside or on the boundary line. The two supporting points could be two supporting points of one wrestler or one supporting point of each wrestler inside or on the boundary line.

“Without increasing risk, this change eliminates the subjectivity of the out-of-bounds call,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Wrestling Rules Committee. “The change also helps officials to call ‘out of bounds’ more consistently, and it provides wrestlers, coaches and spectators a better understanding of out of bounds.”

While the One Point of Contact change will be noted under the definition of Inbounds in Rule 5-15, it also impacts a number of other sections in Rule 5 on Definitions, as well as Rule 6-4-1 on Stopping and Starting the Match.

In addition to the One Point of Contact change, points awarded for a Near-Fall have been revised in high school wrestling. Overall, the changes simplify the points awarded based on how long the wrestler is held in near-fall criteria. The change in Rule 5-11-3 is as follows:

Two points will be awarded when near-fall criteria are held for two seconds, three points for three seconds, four points for four seconds and five points if the defensive wrestler is injured, indicates an injury or bleeding occurs after the four-point near-fall has been earned. These changes will affect other rules including individual match scoring in Rule 9.  

“The goal in wrestling is to pin the opponent,” Hopkins said. “Changing the near-fall points should motivate wrestlers to work for a fall.”

In another change in scoring rules, opportunities to earn more points will also be available when executing a Takedown. Beginning next season, wrestlers will be awarded three match points instead of two when securing a takedown.  

The committee also approved a change regarding the Technical Fall. Rule 5-11-4a now states that “if a takedown or reversal, straight to a near-fall criteria creates a 15-point advantage, the match shall continue until the near-fall criteria is no longer met. Conclusion of the near-fall criteria is immediate.” The change clarifies when the technical fall has concluded in relation to the near-fall criteria being met. Hopkins said the offensive wrestler cannot be penalized appropriately after the technical fall has been earned.

In another change, the 10-Foot Circle at the center of wrestling mats is now optional. Wrestlers now will be encouraged to “stay in the center of the mat” instead of “within the 10-foot circle.”

“The committee determined that the starting lines of a mat indicate the center of the mat and the 10-foot circle is no longer needed,” Hopkins said. “With the new mat designs that have a large mascot or logos, it gives a refreshing look to the mats. Wrestlers and officials know where the center of the mat is located without the 10-foot circle.”

Finally, the committee approved a new Referee’s Time-Out Signal. The signal, which is used in many other sports, is both hands/fingers pointing inward to the referee’s chest.

A complete listing of the wrestling rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Wrestling.”

NFHS 2024 Wrestling Rules Changes

 

   
March 23 Consider Becoming A Sports Official!
 

If you are interested in officiating high school sports for the 2024-25 sports season, registration will open up in mid May! In the meantime, if you have any questions before you register, please do not hesitate to contact the Regional Supervisor Of Officials for the sport(s) you are interested in officiating. They will give you information on registration, clinics, scrimmages, and where to purchase referee equipment.

 

   
March 15 2024 Spring Exam Period Ending
 

The Spring Sports exams (Baseball, Softball, Men's/Women's Lacrosse, and Women's Soccer) period is quickly coming to a close! The Deadline is Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 11:59pm!!! Exams are available on the DragonFly Max website. If you are having trouble finding your exam, See the SSOA "Resource" page for information on how to access your exams.

Time Is Running Out

 

   
March 11 Revisions Made In Fouls And Misconduct Rule In High School Soccer
 

Source: NFHS

Rule 12 of the NFHS Soccer Rules Book on Fouls and Misconduct has been revised and reorganized and includes a new section on “Stopping a Promising Attack.”

The revisions in the Fouls and Misconduct Rule, along with one change in Rule 4 regarding Player Equipment, were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee at its February 5-7 meeting in Indianapolis. All changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.  

Rule 12-7 defines what a promising attack is, how to determine a promising attack, and any punishments a player may receive. The new language states that a promising attack is an attack moving quickly with the promise or potential to become a clear goal-scoring opportunity for the attacking team. A promising attack can occur anywhere on the field.

When determining if an attack is promising, the following considerations would include but are not limited to: distance between the offense and the goal, general direction of play, likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball, if the attacking team is moving forward with speed, open space in front of the player with the ball or the presence of other attackers who could receive the ball, the player having an option to take on the defender or pass to a teammate, and if the attacker has assistance from teammates.

In a move to achieve one of the committee’s fundamental tasks of creating an atmosphere of sportsmanship, much of Rule 12 was rearranged and re-worded for clarity and consistency.

“The biggest change we’ve come across this year is the reorganization of Rule 12 to address some issues of sportsmanship, to clarify some tools for officials, and to focus on positive interactions with coaches, officials and student-athletes,” said Gibby Reynolds, chair of the NFHS Soccer Rules Committee and a member of the Oregon School Activities Association administrative staff.

Other revisions in the Fouls and Misconduct Rule include a section on Ejections (previously named Disqualifications), which provides an ordered list of offenses by severity to allow associations more flexibility for determining post-game sanctions for misconduct.

Multiple changes were made to Section 8 of Rule 12 – Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO). A new article was added to clarify that all necessary conditions must be met for DOGSO to be applicable. Rule 12-8-4 now states: “If any element in article one is missing, the player cannot be ejected for DOGSO. However, this may indicate an attack is promising and additional factors should be considered.”

Finally, Rule 4-1-4d was modified to state that if tape or similar material is applied to socks above the ankle, it shall be of similar color to the area of the sock to which it was applied. Referees are no longer required to oversee socks below the ankle.

A complete listing of the soccer rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Soccer.”

According to the 2022-23 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, soccer is the fifth most popular high school sport for boys with 450,455 participants in 12,484 schools nationwide. Soccer is the third most popular sport for girls with 377,838 participants in 12,100 schools.

2024-25 NFHS Soccer Rules Changes

 

   
March 06 NCHSAA Basketball Regionals & State Championships
 

The 2024 NCHSAA Basketball Regionals and State Championships will be held this week at Lawerence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem. Basketball Officials with their 2023-24 NCHSAA Basketball Officials Card will be admitted FREE to the contests. You may obtain your officials card through the DragonFly website or App.

For those unable to attend the Regionals/State championships in person, they will also be broadcast live on the NFHS Network and available on-demand following the contests. (requires a subscription)

NCHSAA Basketball State Championships

 

   
February 29 NFHS 2024-25 Soccer Rules Changes
 

Source: NFHS

4-1-4d: Clarifies there is not a limitation on the color of tape or sock worn at or below the ankle.
Rationale: Athletes have the flexibility to modify socks within the existing regulations. Frequently, they remove the foot of one sock to layer another underneath, enhancing comfort or grip inside their shoes and fastening the top sock around the ankle. Any tape or similar material used above the ankle must match the sock's color, while at or below the ankle, any color is allowed. Referees are no longer required to oversee socks below the ankle.

Rule 12: Reorganized the rule for clarity and consistency.
Rationale: The Fouls and Misconduct rule has been revised to eliminate duplicate language and improve usability. The main changes involve reorganizing the existing rule for clarity. Sections have been rearranged to enhance ease of reference, and a new section addressing Stopping a Promising Attack (SPA) has been included. Certain general language in the rule has been modified to align with other rules codes. Section 6, Ejections, provides an ordered list of offenses by severity to allow associations more flexibility for determining post-game sanctions for misconduct. Additionally, an article has been added to clarify that all necessary conditions must be met for DOGSO (Denial of an Obvious Goal-Scoring Opportunity) to be applicable.

2024-2025 Editorial Changes
3-4-3, 6-2-3, 12-9-1g

2024-2025 Points of Emphasis

  1. Official’s Toolbox for Game Management
  2. Stopping a Promising Attack
  3. After a Goal

 

NFHS 2024 Soccer Rules Changes

 

   
February 09 NFHS 2024 Football Rules Changes
 

Source: NFHS

1-5-1b(3): Clarified Home Team Uniform Requirement For Each Player — The jerseys of the home team shall all be the same dark color(s) that clearly contrasts with white.

2024 EDITORIAL CHANGES

1-3-1b; 1-3-1i(5); 1-5-1a(1); 1-5-1d(5)a; 1-5-2b; 1-5-3b(6); 1-5-3c(6); 2-8; 2-32-16b, f; 9-5-1g; 9-8-1j; 9-8-3 PENALTY; 10-3-1c NOTE; 10-4; 10-5; NFHS OFFICIAL FOOTBALL SIGNALS; PENALTY SUMMARY; INDEX.

2024 POINTS OF EMPHASIS

  1. Sportsmanship and Altercation Prevention and Protocol
  2. Player Equipment and Enforcement
  3. Formations

NFHS 2024 Football Rules Changes

 

   
February 08 Home Team Uniform Requirements Clarified In High School Football Rules
 

Source: NFHS

Language in the 2024 NFHS Football Rules Book will be changed in an effort to ensure consistent interpretation of the rule regarding requirements for home team uniforms in high school football. Next season, all home team jerseys must be the same dark color(s) that clearly contrasts with white. 

This uniform change in Rule 1-5-1b(3) was recommended by the NFHS Football Rules Committee at its January 14-16 meeting in Indianapolis and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. The Football Rules Committee is composed of one member from each NFHS member state association that uses NFHS playing rules, along with representatives from the NFHS Coaches Association and NFHS Officials Association.

Previously, the rule regarding home team jerseys stated that the jerseys of the home team “shall be a dark color that clearly contrasts to white.” The revised rule will state that the jerseys of the home team “shall all be the same dark color(s) that clearly contrasts to white.” 

“We kind of had a loophole in the rule that we didn’t specify that everyone on the home team had to wear the same color dark jersey,” said Richard McWhirter, chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and assistant executive director of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. “Even though you didn’t see a major issue with it, it was a loophole in the rule that could possibly be a major issue in the future if it wasn’t corrected.”

McWhirter noted that while this was the only rules proposal that was approved by the committee, there was considerable discussion related to the other eight proposals that advanced to the full committee. He said there was considerable discussion dealing with sportsmanship, particularly unsporting acts in dead-ball situations.

“There was solid agreement by the committee that the rules of the game are in good shape,” McWhirter said. “There was great discussion regarding the need for consistent enforcement of the existing rules specifically in regard to equipment and sportsmanship. Several proposals garnered substantial interest and discussion and may merit further consideration in future committee meetings.”

Three Points of Emphasis were identified by the committee for the 2024 season, including Player Equipment and Enforcement, Sportsmanship and Protocols, and Formation Requirements.

A complete listing of the football rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Football.”

According to the 2022-23 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, 11-player football is the most popular high school sport for boys with 1,028,761 participants in 13,670 schools nationwide. In addition, there were 35,301 boys who participated in 6-, 8- and 9-player football, along with 3,838 girls in all four versions of the game for a grand total of 1,067,900. There also were 20,875 participants in girls flag football in 2022-23.

 

   
February 07 NCHSAA 2023-24 Wrestling State Championships
 

The 2024 NCHSAA Wrestling Individual and Dual Team State Championships will be held at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro. The Wrestling Individual State Championships are February 9-10, 2024 and the Wrestling Dual Team State Championships will be held February 15-17, 2024. Wrestling Officials with their 2023-24 NCHSAA Wrestling Officials Card will be admitted FREE to the contests. You may obtain your officials card through the DragonFly website or App.

For those unable to attend the State championships in person, they will also be broadcast live on the NFHS Network and available on-demand following the contests. (requires a subscription)

NCHSAA Wrestling State Championships

 

   
February 06 NFHS 2024-25 Volleyball Rules Changes
 

Source: NFHS

4-2-3a, 7-1-1 NOTE: Allows a player to change uniform numbers without penalty when a uniform is damaged in addition to when a unform has blood on it.

Rationale: Adds language to Rule 4: Uniforms regarding the proper procedure for a legal uniform number change and expands to include a damaged unform as a legal reason for changing a uniform number. Aligns language in Rules 4 and 7.

5-4-3c(1): Allows all players on the roster, not just starting players, to stand on their respective end lines prior to the first set.

Rationale: Encourages the inclusion of all players in the prematch announcements.

5-9-2b NOTE (NEW), State Association Adoption Chart: Requires line judges to switch sides of the court between sets when, by state association adoption, teams remain on the same benches throughout the match.

Rationale: Aligns with the original intent of the rule allowing line judges to alternate between each set to promote fair officiating.  

11-4-1b: Allows teams to substitute during an injury time-out for the libero replacement if the libero is injured or ill.

Rationale: Allows for the immediate substitution of the libero replacement who may be playing out of position due to the injury to the libero.

 
2024-25 Volleyball Major Editorial Changes

Suggested Prematch Protocol (NEW) - Provides guidance for establishing standardized prematch protocols as well as timed warm-ups.


2024-25 Volleyball Editorial Changes

4-1-7a,b; 5-4-3c(5); 9-5-1a(2); 9-5-1a(4); 9-5-1b(1); 9-5-1b(4); 9-5-6b; 12 NOTES 1


2024-25 Volleyball Points of Emphasis

  1. Ball Handling
  2. Scoring Best Practices
  3. Host Management Best Practices

NFHS 2024-25 Football Rules Changes

 

   
February 04 2024 Spring Exam Period Open!
 

Officials, it's that time again! I'm talking about Spring sports exams! If you are a Baseball, Softball, or Women's Soccer official, the Spring sports exams will be available on the DragonFly Max website from Sunday, February 4, 2024 - Sunday, March 17, 2024 according to the NCHSAA website.

There is a link to the Dragonfly Max Exam site at the top of each sports section for your convenience.

Test Time

 

   
February 01 Line Judge Procedure Modified In High School Volleyball
 

Source: NFHS

Line judges will be required to change sides of the court between sets when teams remain on the same bench. The change in officiating procedure highlights the 2024-25 high school volleyball rules changes.

In all, four rules changes were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Volleyball Rules Committee at its annual meeting January 7-9. All rules changes were reviewed and approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Rule 5-9-2b, which outlines line judge responsibilities, includes the new note requiring that they switch sides of the court when, by state association adoption, teams remain on the same bench throughout the match. The corresponding item on the state association adoption chart was also amended to add the requirement, which was added to promote fair officiating.

“Since the pandemic many state associations have adopted the rule to require teams to remain on the same bench throughout the match,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports and liaison to the Volleyball Rules Committee. “The unintended consequence of this adoption is that the same line judge officiates the same lines for the same teams throughout the match. This change allows teams to see both line judges and promote equity in officiating.

In other rules changes, Rule 11-4-1b now allows teams to substitute for a replacement player during a referee’s time-out when the libero is injured or ill, allowing the team to avoid playing the replacement out of position.

Two rules dealing with uniforms and rosters were amended to address when a uniform is damaged or has blood on it. Rule 4-2-3 Note was added to allow a player to change uniforms and for the roster to be adjusted accordingly with no penalty when a uniform is bloodied or damaged. Rule 7-1-1 Note was also changed to specify that blood on or damage to the uniform are acceptable reasons to change uniforms.

The first referee’s responsibilities were modified in Rule 5-4-3c(1) to direct players to the end lines prior to the first set and then direct starting players onto the court for play. Previously, only starting players were directed to the end lines for prematch announcements. The rule now allows but does not require teams to include more team members in the prematch ceremony.

A complete listing of the volleyball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Volleyball.”

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, volleyball is the second-most popular sport for girls (trailing track and field) with 470,488 participants in 16,610 schools nationwide. In addition, there are 77,287 boys participating in the sport at 3,376 schools.

NFHS 2024-24 Volleyball Rules Changes

 

   
January 30 Referee Magazine 2024 Baseball Rules Challenge
 

Hey Baseball Officials, take the Referee Magazine Baseball Rules Challenge! It's a good way to sharpen your rules knowledge as you prepare for your NFHS exams in a couple of weeks! If you dont have an account the link to create one is near the bottom of the page. If you aren't able to finish the Rules Challenge in one setting, you can resume where you left off.

Link: Referee Magazine 2024 Baseball Rules Challenge

 

 

   
January 21 2024 Men's/Women's Lacrosse Exam Open
 

Lacrosse Officials, it's that time again... Exam time! The exams will be available on the DragonFly Max website from Sunday, January 21, 2024 - Sunday, March 17, 2024 according to the NCHSAA website.

There is a link to the Dragonfly Max Exam site at the top of each sports section for your convenience.

Test Time

 

   
January 15 Referee Magazine 2024 Softball Rules Challenge
 

Hey Softball Officials, take the Referee Magazine Softball Rules Challenge! It's a good way to sharpen your rules knowledge as you prepare for your NFHS exams in a couple of weeks! If you dont have an account the link to create one is near the bottom of the page. If you aren't able to finish the Rules Challenge in one setting, you can resume where you left off.

Link: Referee Magazine 2024 Softball Rules Challenge

 

 

   
January 05 Spring Sports NEED YOU!
 

If you are interested in officiating Baseball, Softball, Men's/Women's Lacrosse, or Women's Soccer for the 2024 sports season, the Spring sports seasons are quickly approaching! If you have any questions before you register, please do not hesitate to contact the Regional Supervisor Of Officials for the sport(s) you are interested in officiating.

Become An Official

 

   
January 03 Referee Magazine 2023-24 Soccer Rules Challenge
 

Hey Soccer Officials, take the Referee Magazine Soccer Rules Challenge! It's a good way to sharpen your rules knowledge as you prepare for your NFHS exams in a couple of weeks! If you dont have an account the link to create one is near the bottom of the page. If you aren't able to finish the Rules Challenge in one setting, you can resume where you left off.

Link: Referee Magazine 2023-24 Soccer Rules Challenge

 

 

 

   
January 01 Happy 2024!
 

We would like to wish all of you a safe and happy 2024 from SSOA!

Happy New Year 2024

 

   
   


 

 

 

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