“As the game has become more physical there may be times when tempers flare and cooler heads must prevail. Having more Coaches to help facilitate that In a timely fashion is a win in my book!” –  Loveland High School Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach, Darnell Parker

by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, Ohio – Do you know someone who plays high school basketball? If so, you may want to continue reading as the National Federation of State High School Associations announced on June 13th, 7 rules changes, 6 that will go into effect for the 2019-2020 basketball season.

During an April NFHS committee meeting, all 7 recommended rule revisions were approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. The NFHS decided to wait until 2024-2025 to implement one of the 7 rule revisions. This particular revision now states the number on a basketball player’s jersey can no longer be the same color as the jersey itself. Before the NFHS made this change the number on a jersey could be the same color as the jersey if it was bordered by a contrasting color. The NFHS Board of Directors implemented a 5-year plan on this particular revision so that schools are allowed time to budget for new uniforms. Below is the official rule revision:

3-4-3e (2): The team jersey color itself when bordered with not more than two ¼ inch solid border(s) contrasting with the team jersey color.

The remaining 6 rule revisions going into effect for 2019-2020 are as follows:

3-5-4b: A headband is any item that goes around the entire head.  It must be a circular design without extensions.  If worn, only one headband is permitted, it must be worn on the forehead/crown. It must be nonabrasive and unadorned, and it must be no more than 3 inches wide.

3-5-4d: Add to (d) – Hair control devices are not required to meet color restrictions

3-5-5: Add Note: NOTE: Provided the shorts are not in conflict with 3-4-5, no drawstring or other part of the shorts intended to maintain them in a normal position causes potential harm to the player or others and wearing of the shorts is not objectionable in exposing the anatomy, there is no restriction on folding or rolling the shorts at the natural waistband seam.


      1. A tooth and mouth protector (intraoral), if worn shall:
      2. include an occlusal (protecting and separating the biting surfaces) portion;
      3. include a labial (protecting the teeth and supporting structures) portion;
      4. cover the posterior teeth with adequate thickness;
      5. It is recommended that the protector be properly fitted, protecting the anterior (leading) dental arch and:
      6. constructed from a model made from an impression of the individual’s teeth, or
      7. constructed and fitted to the individual by impressing the teeth into the tooth and mouth protector itself.
      8. State associations may deem a tooth and mouth protector required equipment.

Change section 6 to 7; change section 7 to 8.

9-9-1: Exception: A ball in team control of Team A in the frontcourt that is deflected by a defensive player, which causes the ball to go into the backcourt, may be recovered by either team unless the offense was the last to touch the ball before it went into the backcourt.  If the offense was last to touch the ball in its frontcourt, only the defense can legally recover the basketball. 

10-5-5 Note: The head coach and any number of assistant coaches may enter the court in the situation where a fight may break out – or has broken out – to prevent the situation from escalating.

Stop Clock for Jump/Held Ball-Part 3 of the NFHS Basketball Officials Manual-#3: When a held ball occurs, covering official(s) shall stop the clock using signal #2 (straight arm, open palm extended) while simultaneously sounding their whistle. Then both arms are extended straight out, at chest level, with fist clenched. Thumbs are displayed as a part of the signal. The signal is given with both arms moving in an upward motion. Should be followed with a directional signal (See #6) indicating team possession.

*Occurs when opponents both have their hands on the ball and neither can gain control

*When an opponent places their hand on the ball and prevents an airborne shooter from passing or releasing the try.

So you may be one of the many parents or spectators of high school basketball that are asking why revise these rules now? Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee, made sure she acknowledged any revisions that could be controversial or misunderstood at the committee meeting in April. One of the revisions Wynns commented on was Rule 3-5-5, a revision that now allows athletes to roll their uniform shorts. According to Wynns, this new change to the original rule “modernizes the rule and allows players to adjust their shorts in a manner that serves no harm to the game or its integrity.” 

The NFHS released a rationale on Rule 3-5-5 saying that “rolling of the shorts is only illegal by interpretation, not by the current rule.” The NFHS also stated in the rationale that changing the rule, is an attempt to modernize the rule and allow what players seem to want and what serves as no harm to the game or its integrity. The interpretation was made because allegedly manufacturers did not intend on the shorts to be rolled when in fact many manufacturer reps will tell you that the seams are intentionally made to offer options in the way they are worn.

A significant Change to control outbreak of fights

Another revision that is sure to stir up a conversation is assistant coaches now will be able to go onto the court with the head coach

Loveland Head Coach Darnell Parker

in an effort to restore order when a fight breaks out among players. Wynns gave a very good rationale as to why the NFHS revised this rule stating that “it can be difficult for officials to separate players involved in a fight on the court.” Wynns added that “this change will allow assistant coaches to enter the court with the head coach to assist officials in regaining control of the situation and restoring player safety.” There has been an outbreak of fights in high school basketball over the past couple of years so the revision of this rule now keeps the players’ safety and the integrity of the game of basketball intact according to the NFHS’s rationale to the rule change. 

The NFHS said that “it is difficult in our society for officials to be able to help to separate players involved in a fight since our society has become very litigious. Changing the rule to allow the head coach and assistant coaches to assist in these types of situations will help the officials to regain control of the entire situation more quickly and especially in regard to player safety.”

Loveland Magazine asked Loveland High School Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach, Darnell Parker, what his insight was on the 7 high school basketball rule revisions. 

“One rule in particular that I am a fan of is 10-5-5. In my opinion, this rule is all about establishing order as quickly as possible!” – Loveland High School Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach, Darnell Parker

“I’m always excited when the NHFS is making changes that are for the betterment of our game! When I look at these changes, the word that comes to my mind is consistency,” Parker said, “Making our game more uniform and safer should always be a top priority and that is what this batch of rule changes does. One rule in particular that I am a fan of is 10-5-5. In my opinion, this rule is all about establishing order as quickly as possible! As the game has become more physical there may be times when tempers flare and cooler heads must prevail. Having more Coaches to help facilitate that In a timely fashion is a win in my book!”

If you would like to learn more about the NFHS visit www.nfhs.org. If you would like to see what Loveland athletics are up to check out www.lovelandtigers.org or @LovTigers_AD on twitter. Loveland Magazine will always keep you up to date on the latest Loveland sports! Check us out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LovelandMagazine/ or Twitter at https://twitter.com/lovelandmagazin.

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