Publisher’s Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2019

(Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.)

RULES BOOK CORRECTIONS: 4-41-7 (Page 41): Remove “or try for field goal;” 10-6-1 NOTE (Page 66): Add “and any number of assistant coaches” after “head coach.”

CASE BOOK CORRECTIONS: 3.5.4 SITUATION B (Page 23): Ruling for (c) should be Illegal Legal.

OFFICIALS MANUAL CORRECTIONS: 4.4.3B Held Ball (Page 53): Replace “for a held ball immediately. There is no need to raise a hand for the stopclock signal” so that it reads “Give the signal to stop the clock for a violation followed by the signal for a held ball;” 5.4.3B Held Ball (Page 89): Replace “for a held ball immediately” so that it reads “Give the signal to stop the clock for a violation followed by the signal for a held ball.”

SITUATION 1: A1 is waiting at the table to substitute into the game. The official recognizes the substitute is wearing pre-wrap tied in the back as a headband. RULING: The substitute is permitted to enter the game wearing the pre-wrap as a headband provided it meets all the guidelines for a headband. (3-5-4b)

SITUATION 2: A1 is wearing a ribbon to control her hair. RULING: Illegal. Ribbons are considered decorations and the athlete should not be allowed to enter the contest while wearing a ribbon in the hair. (3-5-4e)

SITUATION 3: Members on Team A are wearing headbands that have two manufacturers’ logos. RULING: Team A members wearing headbands with two manufacturers’ logos should not be allowed to enter the contest until the headbands are removed. Headbands with one manufacturer’s logo should meet the headband requirements. (3-5- 4, 3-6)

SITUATION 4: Team A is wearing a patch on its uniforms to honor one of its teammates who was injured in an accident. The patch is the school logo with his/her number on it. RULING: This is not legal. A commemorative/memorial patch may be worn on the jersey, provided it is not a logo or number, and must be worn above the neckline or in the side insert. Such patches shall not exceed 4 square inches. (3-4-2c)

SITUATION 5: B1 is observed wearing a mouthguard, but no other member of Team B is wearing this type of equipment. RULING: This is legal (personal choice), but is not mandatory. (3-8)

SITUATION 6: During the pre-game warm-up period, an official notices that A1 is wearing a religious medal on the end of a chain. RULING: The player shall be instructed that in order to wear the religious medal, the medal must be taped to the body and worn under the uniform. (3-5-4 EXCEPTION b)

SITUATION 7: A player, for religious reasons, may not wear shorts. Would he/she be able to wear tights under the basketball uniform shorts or warmups instead of shorts? RULING: NFHS basketball uniform rules do not require that the uniform pants be “shorts.” Wearing tights below the uniform shorts would be legal. The player has the option of wearing long pants as the uniform “bottom” to be in compliance with NFHS rules as well. (3-4-5, 3-5-3)

SITUATION 8: During the pre-game warm-up, the officials observe that A4 is wearing a ring with tape covering it. The officials notify A’s head coach that A4 must remove the ring in order to participate in the pre-game warm-up and the game. The coach and A4 respond that the ring cannot physically be removed. RULING: The referee informs A’s head coach that A4 cannot participate while wearing a ring, even with the tape covering it. (3-5-7)

SITUATION 9: A1, while dribbling the ball in the frontcourt near the midcourt line, has the ball strike the midcourt line and as the ball comes up from the dribble, A1 touches the ball and continues to dribble. RULING: Backcourt violation. A1 may not be the first to touch the ball after it has been in the frontcourt, if he/she or a teammate last touched or was touched by the ball in the frontcourt, before it went to the backcourt. (9-9-1)

SITUATION 10: At halftime, Team A is leading the game. A1, A2 and A3 are passing the ball among themselves to run time off the clock while not allowing Team B to gain control of the ball. B1 goes out and pushes A1 to stop the clock. The official calls a personal foul. RULING: Incorrect call. The foul was deliberate and should have been called an intentional foul. A1 should shoot two free throws and Team A should be awarded the ball for a throw-in at the spot nearest the foul. (4-19-3c)

https://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/basketball-rules-interpretations-2019-20/