2021 NFHS Rule Guidance: Blocking Below the Waist in Free-Blocking Zone
The NFHS has released guidance on blocking below the waist in the free blocking zone.Read Article ⇒
Extension of Periods
Please find a discussion of the rule on the extension of period in this document.Read Article ⇒
Penalty Summary Presentation
This presentation provides a summary of penalties.
Updated July 15, 2020Read Article ⇒
2019 NFHS Rule Interpretations
The NFHS has released rules interpretations for the 2019 season.Read Article ⇒
Free and Scrimmage Kick Play Situations Based on the 2018 New Rules
There has been a lot of confusion on the new Kick Rules and Penalty Enforcement. The attached document provides some clarity on how to handle situations under the new rules.Read Article ⇒
Penalty Summary Presentation with Test
John Rock from Cleveland enhanced the NFHS Penalty Summary Presentation to include the thought processes an onfield official goes through when calling the penalty: Foul; Signal and Yardage. Click here for the presentation.
Updated July 22, 2018Read Article ⇒
Experimental Equipment Rule
OHSAA will implement the following experimental rule for this year only with permission from NFHS.
When any required player equipment is missing or when illegal equipment is found, correction shall be made before the player may participate. If the missing or illegal equipment is detected during the down or subsequent dead ball action related to the down without being directly attributable to a foul by an opponent, the player shall be replaced for at least one down, unless halftime or an overtime intermission occurs. This does not relate to prompt repair of equipment that becomes illegal or defective through use.Read Article ⇒
2017 NFHS Rule Interpretations
The NFHS has released rules interpretations for the 2017 season.Read Article ⇒
Rule Book Clarification
Rule Book, Page 63, the Penalty Summary, the second line states:
forward pass - (S35-9) - 5 yards plus loss of down; Arts. 2d, 3 - intentional
This is in error. It should read:
forward pass - (S35-9) - 5 yards plus loss of down; Arts. 2d, e - intentionalRead Article ⇒
2015 NFHS Rules Interpretations Clarification
The NFHS has released a clarification for the 2015 rules interpretations.Read Article ⇒
2015 State Rule Interpretation Presentations
These are the presentations given during this year’s State Rule Interpretation meeting. There are three parts:Read Article ⇒
2015 NFHS Rule Interpretations
The NFHS has released rules interpretations for the 2015 season.Read Article ⇒
Point Differential Plays and Rulings
Play: Home team scores on the TD and Try to go up 30 - 0 with 24 seconds left on the GC in the 4th QT. The R winds the GC when he marks the ball ready prior to the KO. The Home Team does not KO. Time Expires on the GC. Ruling. Game Over, Home Team wins 30 - 0. Since the Game Clock starts when the R marks the ball ready, the Home Team does not have to KO.
Play: Home team is winning 49 - 0 at half time. Both the HT and VT HC’s get together at halftime & agree to shorten the Varsity Game Quarters – reducing them from 12 minutes to 8 minutes in the second half. Since the HC’s have reduced the quarter length, they ask the Crew not to apply the new OHSAA Point Differential Rule. Ruling: Apply the Point Differential Rule in the 2nd half. Good Communication by the Crew – explain to both HC’s that the Point Differential Rule will be applied, then ask them if they still want to shorten the 3rd & 4th Quarters.Read Article ⇒
Kickoffs: Rule Interpretations for the New Rule - 6-1-3
Play: During Kickoffs some teams huddle near the ball situated on a tee, then break from their huddle & fake or kick off. Known in some states as the “Starburst” formation, will this be legal in 2014 due to the KO Rules Changes? Ruling: There must be at least 4 KT players on each side of the Kicker from the time interval that the R marks the ball RFP until the ball is kicked. Obviously, the kicker will have to be in the middle of the huddle or near the middle of the huddle. In addition, all KT members will have to be within the “5 Yard Belt” (usually between the – 40 YL & - 35 YL) from the RFP until the Kick. The BJ (5 man) will need to know the Kicker’s Number.
Play: Members of the KT change positions prior to the KO by “looping” or changing positions to distract the RT. Is this legal in 2014? Ruling: Yes, if the KT maintains 4 KT players on each side of the Kicker from the RFP until the Kick, plus stay within the 5 Yard Belt. Remember the only player exempted from the 5 Yard Belt is the Kicker as long as he kicks the ball.
Comment: Both of these fouls are Dead Ball & the penalty is Encroachment.Read Article ⇒
Marty Matthews has updated the index to the NFHS Rules Book. It serves as a quick way to find rule references. This version of the index is updated to include 2015 rule changes.
Updated: July 23, 2015Read Article ⇒
Point Differential: OHSAA Rule, Plays/Rulings, and Mechanics
During the 2nd half, any time the score differential reaches 30 points or more the game clock (GC) will be stopped only when: 1. An official’s time-out is called for an injured player; 2. A charged time-out is called; 3. A change of possession (COP) occurs at the end of the down; 4. At the end of a period; 5. A score occurs; or 6. An extended delay. The GC will start again on the ready for play (RFP) signal for the first play after the above situations. The GC will continue to run in all other situations. (The use of this Rule does not preclude the use of NFHS Rule 3-1-3). After the 30 point differential has been met, if the score drops below 30 points, the GC reverts to regular timing rules. Communicate with HC’s when it starts. It is imperative the LJ meets with the Timer before the game to review this Rule at all levels.
Plays/Rulings below occur under the OHSAA Point Differential Rule during the 2nd half, unless noted.
Play: Crew arrives at the field for a game. Ruling. After completing preliminary duties the LJ will discuss this Rule with the Timer. Give the Timer a card listing the Rules & emphasize the R mechanics for starting & stopping the GC. Play. Late in 2nd quarter A scores & goes ahead 31 -0. Ruling. The Point Differential Rule does NOT start until the 3rd quarter. Standard timing rules are used for the entire 1st half. Play. A scores a TD & goes ahead 31 – 0. Ruling. Point Differential Rule starts when the R marks the ball RFP & winds the GC for the KO or, in middle school, for 1st down. The clock does not run during the Try. The Wings will notify both HC’s that the Point Differential Rule is in effect. Play. A is ahead 31 – 0. KT KO’s to RT & RT runs it back to 30 YL. Ruling. GC stops since there was a COP at the end of the down. The GC starts when the R marks the ball RFP & winds the GC. Play. A is ahead 31 – 0. A- 1 throws a pass that is intercepted. B -1 returns it 10 YDS & is tackled. Ruling. GC is stopped since there was a COP at the end of the down. When the R marks the ball RFP he will wind the GC. Play. A is ahead 31 – 0. A-1 throws pass, B-1 intercepts, B-1 returns, hit, fumbles, & A-3 recovers the fumble. Ruling: Since A has the ball at the end of the down, the GC continues to run. The same ruling would apply on a KO or punt play. Play. A is behind 31 – 0. A scores a TD & 1 point Try. Score is now B – 31 & A –
- Ruling. Since the score differential is now less than 30 points, revert to NFHS standard timing rules. Tell HC’s. Play. A is ahead 31 – 0. It is a hot & humid game & R stops game for extra water breaks. Ruling. This is an extended delay. Stop the GC for the water breaks, then R marks ball RFP & winds GC. Play. A is ahead 31 – 0. A-3 is called for holding. Ruling. The GC continues to run.
- When the Point Differential Rule is enforced the R will point at the timer, tap his wrist, & give a wind signal with his index finger. The R will face the timer each time he needs to wind the GC. Other members of the Crew will continue to use Gold Book Signaling. LJ will mirror R’s wind.
- Lengthy discussions occurred about altering Signals. Officials from other states that have used a “running clock” have indicated they did not change their Signaling Mechanics.
- It is the timer’s responsibility to know the Rule and then start/stop the clock as needed. (6/12/14)
NFHS Press Release for 2014 Rule Changes
The NFHS has released a press release explaining the rule changes for the 2014 season.Read Article ⇒