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									                                           NFHS RULES CHANGES

   INDIANAPOLIS — The use of                 In Rule 3-2-5, “headwear (caps,        disabilities, special needs and/or
altered or non-approved bats in           visors, sweatbands, ribbons, etc.),       extenuating circumstances.
high school softball will draw an         if worn, must now be white, black,          Rule 8-9-2 New Exception:
additional penalty for both players       beige or school colors. The colors are    Clarified the procedure to follow
and coaches beginning with the 2012       not required to be solid nor the same     when the visiting pitcher or catcher
season.                                   for each team member.”                    of record, having used a courtesy
   At its June 6-8 meeting in                Permitting more colors and options     runner in the top half of the first
Indianapolis, the National Federation     for players regarding headwear is         inning, is injured/disqualified and
of State High School Associations         consistent with requirements in other     unable to play defense in the bottom
(NFHS) Softball Rules Committee           NFHS sports.                              half of the first.
also clarified rules regarding ball          “The committee wants to allow
color and the use of headwear during      student-athletes to have more               Rule 10-1-2 New Note: A new
competition. All changes were             flexibility,” Struckhoff said. “This      note was added clarifying the
subsequently approved by the NFHS         change will also allow for players to     administrative responsibilities of
Board of Directors.                       promote more school spirit.”              umpires through the completion of
   The penalty for the use of an             Major editorial changes approved       required reports.                   S
altered or non-approved bat, which        by the committee include:
previously was an out on the batter,         Rule 1-5-1c: Clarified that shaving,
was expanded to state, “when the          rolling or artificially warming the bat
illegal bat is an altered or non-         barrel are prohibited.
approved bat, the batter and the head
coach are also ejected.”                     Rule 2-4: Revised and updated
   “For blatant violations such as        the definitions of legal and
this, the committee wants to stress       illegal bats.
accountability for both coaches and          Rules 2-5-3; 3-5-6; 7-5
players,” said Mary Struckhoff,           New: 7-4-12; 8-6-15;
NFHS assistant director and liaison to    8-6-16: The rules were
the Softball Rules Committee. “This is    edited and updated
a very significant change since safety    to clarify offensive
and integrity issues are at stake.”       interference.
   The committee also deleted “white”        Rule 3-2-12 Note:
from the list of permissible colors for   A new note was
softballs. The ball(s) must now be        added authorizing
optic yellow, which will assist schools   state associations to grant
in ordering and manufacturers in          exceptions to NFHS playing
producing the actual product being        rules for participants with
used for competition.

  INDIANAPOLIS — Rules changes            changes were subsequently approved          Another rule was added to address
approved by the National Federation       by the NFHS Board of Directors.           unsportsmanlike conduct toward
of State High School Associations           Prior to the start of each game, each   umpires after a game has ended and
(NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee will      head coach must now verify to the         after the umpires have departed the
place more responsibility on coaches      umpire in-chief that all participants     game site. It calls for state associations
for rules-compliant player equipment,     are legally equipped and equipment is     to determine appropriate action when
effective with the 2012 high school       in accordance with NFHS rules. Such       dealing with these situations.
baseball season.                          rules include “compliant bats that are      In addition, umpires no longer
  At its June 5-7 meeting in              unaltered from the manufacturer’s         will be required to perform
Indianapolis, the committee also took     original design and production and        pregame equipment checks, as that
steps to define a new tamper-evident      helmets that are free of cracks and
protocol for non-wood bats. All           damage.”                                  See BASEBALL CHANGES on Page 14	                                         12                           February/March	2012
                                                 NFHS RULES CHANGES

                                          TRACK and FIELD
   INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 5, 2011) — The        may touch or catch the pole and under         referee had jurisdiction. State associations
penalty for wearing jewelry during high         what circumstances touching the pole is       may intercede in the event of unusual
school track and field competition will shift   not allowed. The rule reads, “No person       incidents after the referee’s jurisdiction
from the team to the individual competitor      shall be allowed to touch the vaulting        has ended or in the event that a contest
beginning next season.                          pole except an assigned official, assigned    is terminated prior to the conclusion of
   In its June 8-10 meeting in Indianapolis,    pole catcher or the competitor, when          regulation play.
the National Federation of State High           circumstances warrant, but never to              Rule 5-7-3: The starting command for
School Associations (NFHS) Track and            prevent the pole from dislodging the bar.”    individual races – or opening relay legs
Field and Cross Country Rules Committee           “The competitor or designated official      of 800 meters or more outdoors and 600
addressed the jewelry rule and clarified        can catch the pole, but the touch or catch    meters or more indoors – shall be to
two rules in the pole vault among its           by the competitor that prevents the           instruct all competitors to take a position
nine major changes. All changes were            crossbar from being dislodged is still a      three meters behind the starting line or
subsequently approved by the NFHS               foul,” Oakes said.                            dashed arc behind the line. With “On your
Board of Directors.                               The committee also made updates             marks,” the competitors step to the starting
   The revised jewelry rule states that         to Rule 9-1-1 regarding the method of         line.
“for the first violation, the competitor        measuring a cross country course that            Rule 7-4-10: The games committee may
shall be required to remove the jewelry         reflect trends in the sport. The cross        assign competitors to flights of no less
before further competition and be issued a      country course shall be measured along the    than five for preliminary competition
warning that a subsequent violation shall       shortest possible route that a runner may     or may conduct the event in continuing
result in a disqualification from the event.”   take, as opposed to measuring down the        flights. In continuing flights, the first
   “The rule still prohibits the wearing        middle of the course.                         five competitors, as determined by the
of jewelry, but the members of the rules          Another change now makes it legal for       games committee, constitute a flight. As
committee and results of the questionnaire      competitors to wear visible undergarments     a contestant clears the bar, passes a turn
strongly support the penalty applying only      that have a contrasting stitching to the      at the height or is eliminated, the next
to the competitor involved as opposed to        color of the single, solid color of the       competitor in order will be moved up
the entire team,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS        undergarment. The stitching must function     so that the number of competitors in the
assistant director and liaison to the Track     in the construction of the undergarment       active flight remains constant. When the
and Field Rules Committee.                      and not as a design.                          field is down to eight or fewer competitors,
   In Rule 7-5-2, requirements for pole           Other rules changes approved by the         it is recommended that participants are
vault competitors were changed. The rule        committee include:                            called as listed on the event sheet.
eliminates the limit of only two layers of        Rule 3-4-2: The referee retains clerical       Rule 9-3-3: Updates were made to
tape on the grip end but still requires any     authority over the contest through the        this rule that address the use of bib
tape placed on the pole to be of uniform        completion of any reports, including          transponders or timing chips on the shoes
thickness on the grip end.                      those imposing disqualifications, that are    and the official order of finish when the
   In addition, Rule 7-5-25 clarifies who       responsive to actions occurring while the     computerized item(s) are used.             S

           2012 Softball
        Points of Emphasis
                                                     SWIMMING and DIVING
                                                  INDIANAPOLIS — Two significant              and finish with a hurdle, defined as a
                                                changes in high school diving were            jump off one foot to a landing on both
    1. Sportsmanship                            among the six rules revisions approved        feet at the end of the board. The diver
    2. Team/Player Equipment                    by the National Federation of State High      may use additional steps, hops, leaps
       A. Bats free of rattles, dents           School Associations (NFHS) Swimming           and/or jumps between the initial three
          and sharp edges.                      and Diving Rules Committee at its March       steps and the culminating hurdle. The
       B. Gloves of more than two               27-29 meeting in Indianapolis.                forward takeoff shall be from both feet
          colors are illegal.                     The rules changes were subsequently         simultaneously to an adequate height to
       C. Pitchers are permitted to             approved by the NFHS Board of                 perform the dive.”
          use drying agents                     Directors.                                      “This change supports the advancement
          (powdered resin).                       The definition of the forward approach      of high school diving and reflects the
    3. Field of Play. All fields should         in diving was revised to reflect current      current trends in the variations of the
       be properly maintained and               trends in the sport. In between the initial   forward approach and the athleticism
       according to NFHS regula-
                                                three steps and the jump off one foot to      of today’s high school divers,” said
                                                a landing on both feet at the end of the      Becky Oakes, NFHS assistant director
    4. Game Management
                                                board, divers now may use additional          and liaison to the Swimming and Diving
       A. Coaches are now penalized
                                                steps, hops, leaps and/or jumps.              Rules Committee.
       for providing incorrect lineup
                                                  The revised Rule 9-5-2 now reads as           Another important diving change deals
                                                follows: “The forward approach shall
                                                begin with not less than three steps          See SWIM on Page 14	                                                13                             February/March	2012
                                               NFHS RULES CHANGES

Continued from Page 13
                                              BASEBALL CHANGES
                                              Continued from Page 12                      provide “reasonable accommodations
with the order of divers in championship      responsibility will fall to coaches         to individual participants with
meets. Beginning for the 2012 season, in      beginning next year. Coaches can            disabilities and/or special needs
addition to determining the order by lot,     still ask umpires at the pregame            and unique and extenuating
the meet director will have the option        conference to confirm that equipment        circumstances,” so long as they do
of seeding based on the diver’s best          is compliant.                               not fundamentally interfere with
competitive 11-dive score submitted. If         “The committee is placing a great         the sport. Players and coaches must
the seeding is done by dive scores, divers    importance on increased coach               also clean or remove “any” (formerly
without 11 dive scores will be seeded by      responsibility,” said Elliot Hopkins,       “excessive”) amount of blood from a
lot at the beginning of the diving order.     NFHS assistant director and liaison to      uniform or piece of equipment before
  The flexibility of seeding divers, which    the Baseball Rules Committee. “It is        being allowed back into the game.
also may be used in non-championship          one of our top priorities.”                   Other rules changes approved by
meets that are conducted under the              Prior to the June 2012 meeting of the     the committee include:
championship-meet format, is similar to       Baseball Rules Committee, the NFHS            Rule 6-2-2c Note: The starting
the option in swimming.                       will work with appropriate parties to       pitcher may warm up by using no
  Two additional diving rules were            research and develop a baseball bat         more than eight throws, completed
revised by the committee. A note in Rule      tamper-evident protocol for non-wood        in one minute (timed from the first
9-5-6 was expanded to clarify that flying     bats and present the recommendations        throw). This rule applies to relief
dives demonstrating 1½ somersaults            to the committee for its consideration.     pitchers as well. At the beginning of
require the straight position to be           The goal for implementation is for          each subsequent inning, the pitcher
maintained until the body has rotated to      non-wood bats manufactured after            may warm up with no more than five
the vertical position.                        January 1, 2015.                            throws, completed in one minute.
  The degree of difficulty for three            “Bat tampering is illegal and a             Rule 10-1-2: The game officials
twisting dives were changed as follows:       major problem in high schools,”             retain clerical authority over the
5227D from 3.1 to 3.2; 5126D from 2.7 to      Hopkins said. “Everyone is looking          contest through the completion of
2.8; and 5136D from 3.0 to 3.1.               for a competitive edge. With this           any reports, including those imposing
  While the diving changes were at the        note, we want to make sure that the         disqualification, that are responsive to
forefront for this season, there were some    state associations, coaches, teams          actions occurring while the umpires
swimming changes, too.                        and the public are aware that we are        had jurisdiction. State associations
  In swimming rules changes, the              committed to minimizing any risk for        may intercede in the event of
committee changed the starting procedure      players with bat tampering.”                unusual incidents after the umpires’
for pools with a water depth of less than       In addition, a minor change to            jurisdiction has ended or in the event
4 feet and at least 3½ feet. Beginning in     Rule 1-3-5 states that “No artificial       that a game is terminated prior to the
2011-12, swimmers must start in the water     or intentional means shall be used          conclusion of regulation play.
rather than from the deck in pools with       to control the temperature of the             Suggested Double First Base Rules:
3½ to 4 feet of water.                        bat,” based on scientific research that     Runner should use the colored base
  “For risk minimization purposes and         altering the bat damages the bat and        on initial play at first base (dropped
to reflect current trends, this is a more     poses an unnecessary risk of injury.        third strike only), unless the fielder is
appropriate starting restriction in water       Changes to Rules 1-5-8 and 3-1-6          drawn to the side of the colored base,
with a depth of less than 4 feet and at       deal with players’ equipment on the         in which case the runner would go to
least 3½ feet,” Oakes said. “This rule        field. State associations may now           the white base and the fielder to the
change does not require any change in         authorize exceptions to NFHS rules to       colored base.                       S
  The final change is one that has been

approved by the NFHS Board of Directors
for use in all NFHS rules books regarding
the meet referee’s jurisdiction. The rule
                                                Continued from Page 11                    Christian 44-32 in the finale.
extends the clerical duties of the referee
                                                Division III.                                Now, Brookside Christian is
beyond the end of the contest through the
completion of any reports required from            The top-ranked D4 teams on             the favorite, followed by Turlock
actions that occurred while the referees        MaxPreps are: Calaveras, Bear River,      Christian, Capital Christian and
had jurisdiction.                               Ripon and West Campus.                    Ripon Christian.
  Swimming and diving ranks No. 10                 Bradshaw Christian is up in D4            Girls Division V: This new
in popularity among boys sports with            after winning three straight D5 titles.   division for teams of 150 enrollment
131,376, according to the 2009-10 High             Girls Division V: Bradshaw             and below, is an 8-team bracket.
School Athletics Participation Survey           Christian was moved into D4 after            According to MaxPreps, the
conducted by the NFHS. The sport ranks          winning three straight D5 titles.         favorites are Victory Christian and
eighth among girls programs with 158,419        Last year, the Pride beat Brookside       Wilton Christian.               S
participants.                             S	                                             14                            February/March	2012

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