NFHS enforces new rules for player safety

The state playoff format isn’t the only change coming to high school football. As player safety continues to fall under the microscope around the country, new rules are being enforced in regards to player contact.
The National Federation of State High School Associations has forbidden targeting beginning next season.
Rule 2-43 reads, “Targeting is an act of taking aim and initiating contact to an opponent above the shoulders with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulders.” Targeting, which will be penalized as illegal personal contact, wasn’t the only rule change approved by the NFHS rules committee.
A defenseless player was also redefined as a player who, “because of his physical position and focus of concentration, is especially vulnerable to injury.”
The NFHS also ruled that on kickoffs, at least four members of the kicking team must line up on each side of the kicker. Also, other than the kicker, no player is allowed to be more than five yards behind the ball.
Also, language was also modified for Rule 8-5-1, stating, “the accidental touching of a loose ball by a player who was blocked into the ball is ignored and does not constitute a new force.” And, roughing the passer penalties now include all personal contact fouls. An automatic first down and 15 yards will be awarded to the offense.
Here’s what else came out of the meeting:
Rule 1-1-7: Provides state associations authority to require game officials to be on the field more than 30 minutes prior to game time.
Rule 2-24-9: The intent of an illegal kick was clarified. Now, when an illegal kick occurs, the loose ball retains the same status that it had prior to the illegal kick.
Rules 3-3-3 and 3-3-4: With this change, in order to extend or not extend a period with an untimed down, time must expire during the down.