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NFHS --- Elimination of Clipping in Free-Blocking Zone
Elimination of Clipping in Free-Blocking Zone


Contact: Bob Colgate

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The elimination of clipping from high school football is the latest attempt to reduce the risk of injury made by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee.

The decision to eliminate clipping in the free-blocking zone (Rule 2-17-3) was the most significant of three rules changes recommended by the NFHS Football Rules Committee at its January 22-24 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“With very few major rules changes approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee for  ...Read More

NFHS --- New lineup procedures approved in volleyball

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The process for submitting lineups in high school volleyball has been revised for the 2016-17 season.

In addition to the revision in Rule 7-1-4 regarding lineup procedures, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Volleyball Rules Committee recommended eight other rules changes at its January 4-6 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Following each set, coaches will be required to submit a numeric lineup to the scorer before one minute remains in the timed interval – or intermission when used. Rule 7-1-4 now states that if a player’s number is duplicated in more than one  ...Read More

Utah coaches favor shot clock
By Trevor Phibbs
The Salt Lake Tribune
Then-Brighton guard Bryce Callahan stood isolated at midcourt in the 2012-13 Class 5A semifinals. He remained stationary, as the nation's top-ranked Lone Peak Knights waited for seven minutes.

The Bengals stalled for a total of 11 minutes in an attempt to mitigate their more-talented opponent. Lone Peak eventually captured the state title and mythical national championship after its 14-7 halftime lead mushroomed in the second half once Brighton ditched the controversial tactic. The events of that evening left an indelible image of stalling and invigorated the discussion of introducing a shot clock in Utah high school basketball.

Three years later, the discussion is still raging, and Brighton coach Jeff Gardner is one of th ...Read More

Girls Gymnastics Rules Changes ahead for 2016-17
Girls Gymnastics Rules Changes Include Value-Adding Clarity, New Elements


Contact: Becky Oakes

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Girls Gymnastics Rules Committee, at its recent meeting in Indianapolis, focused on adding clarity to the rules for a sport ever-adapting to new trends.

Among the new rules that will take effect for the 2016-17 season are ones that will refine scoring and identify how high school gymnasts can incorporate new elements into their routines. The recommended rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Several options for series were eliminated to remove value ad ...Read More

By Tim Leighton
The Minnesota State High School League is in the midst of a “Thank A Ref” campaign, a way for member schools to show appreciation for the officials in all activities.

But in Rosemount on Tuesday, the roles will be reversed.

Before tip-off of Rosemount’s boys basketball game with District 196 sibling, Apple Valley, longtime activities assistant Marsha Schultz will be honored for her years of work with the officials that have worked games at the school.

After the playing of the National Anthem, veteran basketball official Dean Kockelman will make a presentation to Schultz in appreciation for all her work behind the scenes. Schultz, a 28-year employee of the district, has been the activities assistant for the past 20 years. She is retiring Ma ...Read More

Missouri prep sports face referee shortage
By Connor Smith
KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The Missouri State High School Activities Association, MSHSAA, is in need of more referees.

"We typically have about 5,500 registered officials each year, but there's also a lot of turnover in that number," said MSHSAA Communications Coordinator Jason West. "In that turnover, we lose veteran officials and gain new prospects, so there's a large turnover there even though 5,500 may sound like a large number."

West said referees stop officiating for a variety of reasons, including finding a new job or moving out of town.

"There's also some negative aspects to it, in that parents are getting in the way, coaches yelling derogatory things and they feel like it's just not worth their time or effort to always be degraded a ...Read More

The assistant coach: An official's friend or foe?
By Kevin Wilson

The coach/official relationship is a challenge in every sporting contest.

From the coaches meeting prior to the contest through the final buzzer, the communication and interaction of the head coach and the officials is a key element to game management.

The other adults on the team bench seem to fall into a gray area for many officials. Some officials describe the assistants as a pain; some think of them as an asset to use and others don’t even give them a second thought.

The assistant coach has a differing role in each sport. In some sports, the assistants are expected to be active participants working with the student-athletes during live action (e.g., baseball and softball).

In a sport such as football, the assistant coach ca ...Read More

By Denise Leighton

Just more than 25 years ago, my husband came to me with the idea that he wanted to pursue sports officiating, primarily at the high school level.

He had been a three-sport athlete in high school and covered high school sports in his job as a reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper. He felt the tug, though, he said, to give back in some way, for all of the positive experiences he had in high school.

I really didn’t understand the whole athletics’ side of the high school experience. I was a fine arts person and only knew that area of high school activities.

After I gave him my blessing, he went into it with vigor, officiating soccer, basketball and fast-pitch softball and baseball.

Over the years, I knew what season it was ...Read More

By Jason Nickleby
Coordinator of Officials, MSHSL

The recent Minnesota State High School League’s Officials Association Summit brought together some of the outstanding leaders and innovators of the officiating industry in Minnesota.

The event was held October 12 at the Double Tree in Brooklyn Center.

MSHSL executive director Dave Stead opened the day-long gathering with a welcome and reflection. He shared that officials have a unique role as guardians of the game to maintain decorum and fairness for all participants.

The MSHSL is in the midst of celebrating its 100th anniversary. As part of the celebration, the Officials Program is implementing a strategic plan with the mantra, “Honoring the Past by Ensuring the Future.”

The main emphasis of the plan i ...Read More

High School Officials Need to be Applauded; Not Assaulted

By Dana Pappas

(Editor's Note: Dana Pappas, of the New Mexico Activities Association and member of the NFHS Officials Publications Committee, responds, on behalf of the committee, to the recent incident in Texas where a high school football official was intentionally hit by two players.)

As an officials’ administrator in a state high school association office, it is seldom a good thing when you receive dozens of emails, text messages and shared Facebook film clips saying, “Have you seen this?”

In the 48 hours after a Texas high school football official was physically assaulted by two high school players, I was contacted by officials, coaches and friends from across the country alerting me to the situation ...Read More

Pre-match duties by volleyball officials ensures safety
By Dianna Moore

Taking care of pre-match responsibilities is an important stepping-stone in preparing officials to officiate the match. Once the officials arrive at the site of the match, there are important procedures and guidelines that must be followed to ensure the safety of the participants, officials, and spectators.

Throughout my 27 years of officiating I have entered many sites that have equipment stored in what would be playable areas for the participants. Wrestling mats, rebounding machines, physical education equipment, and other objects are often encountered when officials arrive at the site.

Many times officials are told that there is no other place to store this equipment. It is the responsibility of the officials to ask the administration of the school ...Read More

Whistles will fill the air this week as the 2015 Minnesota State High School League football season gets underway. Student-athletes won’t be the only ones preparing with anticipation and zest.
The MSHSL is offering four football officials’ training clinics to allow officials an opportunity to be in top form when the regular-season openers commence.

The clinics are:
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11 --- Totino-Grace H.S. (Fridley)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12 --- Mankato West H.S.
  • Monday, Aug. 17 --- Brainerd H.S.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 19 --- Burnsville H.S.

    Registration is at 5 p.m., and the clinic begins at 5:30 p.m. The clinics will conclude by 9 p.m.

    The clinics will be a combination of classroom training, panel discussions and video presentations. These trainin ...Read More

  • Rules webinars spring MSHSL into action
    Deep in the recesses of Minnesota State High School League headquarters in Brooklyn Center, the unmistakably sounds are hard at work: Computers are whirring, audio is synching, video is edited and voiceovers are rehearsed.

    It’s the annual rite of summer, participating in webinars and the production of online rules meetings for thousands of MSHSL registered officials.

    “It’s, by far, the busiest, most hectic time of the summer,’’ said Amy Doherty, MSHSL Program Specialist.

    This week, MSHSL staff members have participated in National Federation of High School Association webinars on football, soccer, volleyball, swimming and gymnastics. Those national webinars are the launching pad for state associations in the educating of their sports officials.

    “We could cut and ...Read More

    Searching for the Next Generation of Sports Officials

    By Dave Sheets

    Next Man Up. This seems to be the new buzzword phrase in modern sports. Especially in football, each week there is an injury and coaches talk about the replacement needing to step in and take over and produce at a high level. It seems this expectation comes with the territory and is placed upon an aging veteran or a new rookie. Be ready to play at any moment and play at an extremely high level.

    Have you looked around your officials association meetings recently? Can you identify the next man, or woman, up for you?

    Most officiating groups have two main issues they face: 1) getting people interested in officiating and 2) training them for the varsity level. If these aren’t issues your group is facing, congratulations! (We would welcome your story telli ...Read More

    Larry Gallagher
    By Jason Nickleby
    MSHSL Coordinator of Officials

    A simple “thank you” is just not enough gratitude to show Larry Gallagher.

    Gallagher, 75, is in his sixth decade of giving back. Whether as a teacher, coach, baseball umpire, basketball official, or officials’ mentor, Gallagher fills the role with zest, compassion and a guiding encouragement.

    He is a true example of dedication and commitment to education-based athletics. I know this firsthand. I would not have gone far down the officiating path without his mentorship.

    Gallagher, who taught and coached at Tartan High School in Oakdale, continues to serve as a baseball rules interpreter and is state baseball coordinator for the Minnesota State High School  ...Read More


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