Connecticut High School Football

High School Football news, analysis, commentary and features from the reporters of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

NFHS enforces new rules for player safety

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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.

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3 Responses

  1. GHS Fan says:

    This is idiotic. A forearm in face does not hurt ANYTHING. A human being will break his forearm way before doing anything remotely close to any kind of trauma.
    No, this is nothing more than the politically correct crowd shoving their nonsense opinions down everyone’s throat. They think it is unseemly for someone to throw a forearm so they are outlawing it, taking more fun out of the game for everyone.
    These dopes are doing their best to neuter football, turning it into something that the little wimps of the world can play. Will someone PLEASE get them out of the decison making process????

  2. mike says:

    Just great. The FCIAC football ref’s are absolutely the most incompetent. Now they have to interpret more rules that even NFL ref’s screw up. What a disaster. Just be done with it and turn this into flag football.

  3. GHS Fan says:

    Mike –

    You are absolutely correct – the refs are now charged twice with determining a player’s motives in the new mess of lousy rules being promulgated by the “safety” crowd.
    How is the ref supposed to determine if a player “accidentally” touched the ball on a kick? Does he have a mind-reader gadget inside the helmet of the player?
    How the hell is the ref supposed to determine if the player making contact on a “defenseless” player understands that the “focus” of the guy getting getting hit was not where it should be?
    Anybody who plays football understands the risks of football. Anybody who let’s their kid play football understands the risks.
    How about all the control-freak “safety” people stop trying to get their Orwellian Big-brother Thought Police on the damn football field and let boys be boys.
    Let’s be honest. Football is brutal nasty sport played by brutal nasty people. That’s why we like it. It is part of the game.
    If you don’t like the game, go watch a spirited chess game and stop trying to ruin football for the millions of people who like it as it is.

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