Basketball Comments on the Rules – 2021-22

Sep 6, 2021 by

By NFHS on May 18, 2021 

State Option Added to Permit Shot Clock Use (2-14 NEW)

While several states have utilized a variety of options to permit the use of a shot clock in high school basketball, this allowance has not previously been permitted within the NFHS playing rules. Effective with 2022-23 program year, state associations may utilize a 35-second shot clock and in compliance with 2-14, be considered to be adhering to the playing rules.

In adopting the option to utilize the shot clock, the committee remains cognizant of the many advocates and opponents of its use and has encouraged standardization among those who choose to adopt. In this way, future committees can gather and analyze consistent data as they evaluate any future considerations for change. The committee felt it appropriate to stop short of a nationwide rule change and instead allow for the continued analysis of both game and violation statistics as well as continuing to measure preferences in all states through surveys and questionnaire data. These decisions will need to be addressed within each of the states as they determine whether or not to pursue this path, and are, for now, best guided by each state’s analysis of the wants, needs and desires of its membership.

The committee is therefore issuing guidance supplemental to the rules that list several areas for consideration by each state. These include the acquisition of the shot clock units, considerations for operators, protocols for officials including mechanics and duties, and the many other rules considerations that will need to be reviewed regarding full and partial resets, procedures for equipment failure and responsibilities for officials. This information will be placed supplemental to the actual playing rules to assist decision makers in this review.

Religious Head Coverings Rules Codified (3-5-4f  NEW and 3-5-4, Exception B)

The playing rules were modified to add a provision that allows for religious head coverings to be permitted without state association approval as long as they are not made of abrasive or hard materials and provided, they securely fit. This change also removes the previous exception that required state association approval prior to this type of head covering being worn.

Officials Signal Change Made Eliminating Signal 37

The committee reviewed various changes that had been both made and requested at a variety of levels of basketball and determined that all player and team control fouls should utilize signal 36 (the hand behind the head) rather than the previous mechanics that utilized Signal 37 (the extended fist) for a team control foul. The proper sequence for either of these calls will now be signal 4 to indicate a foul, the use of the same arm to give signal 36 to indicate a player or team control foul, followed by signal 6 indicating the direction in which the ball will be put in play and then signal 7 to indicate the throw-in spot.

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