2023 NEW RULES
In a move to achieve one of the committee’s fundamental tasks of maintaining a balance between offense and defense, this revision stipulates the basic spot for enforcement of fouls behind the line of scrimmage is the previous spot rather than the spot of the foul.
Current penalties for illegal kicking, batting and participation fouls, as well as provisions for offensive fouls occurring in the end zone that may result in a safety, remain intact.
In a change that addresses another goal of every NFHS rules committee – risk minimization – additional criteria were approved to help identify players who should be defined as defenseless receivers related to application of unnecessary or excessive contact.
An addition (d) to Rule 2-32-16 states that another example of a defenseless player includes a receiver, as previously defined in the rule, including the person intercepting the pass, who is forcefully contacted by an opponent that is not 1) incidental contact as a result of making a play on the ball, 2) initiated with open hands, or 3) an attempt to tackle by wrapping arm(s) around the receiver.
The committee also approved a clarification to the intentional grounding rule change implemented last year. The change in Rule 7-5-2 EXCEPTION permits the exception for intentional grounding to the first and only player to possess the ball after the snap ends.
A revision in Rule 2-29-1 clarifies when a player is inbounds after being out of bounds. While the committee approved additional language for clarification, there is no change to any foul or subsequent penalty provisions, or any rules related to illegal participation or the provisions regarding eligibility to catch a pass.
One change was approved in Rule 1-5-3 regarding player equipment, specifically player towels, which now may contain one manufacturer’s logo and/or one school logo, neither exceeding 2¼ square inches. Towels must be a solid color, but now do not have to be the same color for each player. Towels may not, however, be the color of the ball or penalty flag.
In Rule 7-5 (TABLE) regarding forward pass interference, the word “intentional” was removed, which puts the rule in line with how it is already enforced, which is a 15-yard penalty.