original-13-rules-of-basketball
Naismith’s 13 Original Rules of Basket Ball

(4-18-18) A lot of things have changed since James Naismith’s Original Rules for Basketball  were posted and you have to wonder what he would think of the how game has changed over the years.

This year the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee has submitted 18 proposals (see below) to be voted on.

One change that was thought to have been on the agenda was the shot clock, the issue went viral after Illinois High School Association’s Kurt Gibson said that it would be, only to find out that it was not.

Despite the shot clock not being a part of the possible changes in the future, there are 18 changes that will be of interest to high school basketball fans.

Some that stand out include a restricted area under the basketball, dunks being allowed during the pre-game, stopping the clock after a made basket in the last minute of the game.

Other items include basket interference, goal tending, combination  and numerous proper uniforms.

Below are the rationales on why each rule change is needed.

  • Allowing for a combination colored ball, provides options for ball choices while maintaining the color scheme.

 

  • Jersey manufacturing has changed with the times and officials can clearly distinguish between a light and dark color.  The light gray color for example, has become extremely popular for teams and it is not permitted as a home jersey.  As long as there is a contrast in team colors, it should be permissible.

 

  • In many cases, teams are traveling for multiple day events, and have concerns about laundry while traveling, etc. In addition, this would allow the home team to wear a dark jersey to commemorate a former team uniform or another special occasion. As long as one team wears white, the ability to easily officiate and distinguish between the teams is not impacted.

 

  • Sleeves/tights, compression shorts,  Headbands and wristbands clarifications. It makes the rule easier to understand by officials, coaches & players.  We are spending more time discussing what is legal & illegal with uniforms & apparel than we are spending with hand checking, post-play, etc. It will also put more responsibility on coaches to make sure their players are dressed legally.

 

  • Basket interference should be expanded to include the unintentional slapping or striking of the backboard causing the ring to vibrate. Currently a slap of the backboard has no penalty other than the assessment of a technical foul when the act is deemed intentional. Quite often the slapping of the backboard occurs unintentionally in legitimate attempts to block a shot, which then causes the basket ring to vibrate or move in a way that may cause the ball “fall” off the ring. Having this addition to the basket interference rule would afford officials an alternative to the determination of an intentional act (resulting in a technical foul) or unintentional (resulting in an awarded basket) in situations when the backboard is slapped.

 

  • This rule change proposal is designed to allow for a better flow of the game, and spend less time at the free throw line. During free throw administration the potential for numerous negative acts to occur, with up to seven players is a confined area.  This proposal also provides for only one number of free throws awarded regardless if the foul was committed during a try or after reaching the bonus foul count (two free throws for all).  This change has been implemented in the NCAA women’s game for the past two years, and even with their bonus going into effect on the 5th foul, only 22% of the time do teams reach the bonus. This will reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a game, especially critical on a school night that proceeds a school day.

 

  • Realistically why would an offensive player goaltend a try at his/her basket? By making this a defensive violation only, the rule is clearer and makes enforcement easier for officials. If the shooting team cannot commit this violation, the officials do not have to determine whether a ball thrown toward the basket and meets the requirements for a goaltending violation is a try or a pass. By removing the offensive team from this violation, players too do not have to try to determine whether a ball in flight is a try or a pass and teams can have more potential for scoring plays at the basket.

 

  • We are proposing a restricted-area arc for player safety reasons.  Players who attempt to draw player control/charging fouls under the basket constitutes a significant safety issue that can be avoided by not allowing secondary defenders to set up defensively in the restricted area.  This rule will only come into play with a grounded secondary defender.  All other plays are covered by other rules (verticality, guarding, contact, etc.).

 

  • Allowing the head coach to request a time-out during a live ball creates problems for officials, especially in a two-person crew, as they frequently have to divert their attention and eyes from the play to the bench area to determine who is requesting the time-out which may result in missing critical action on the court.  By allowing the head coach to request a time-out only when the ball is dead or during a throw-in still permits him/her to directly request a time-out in those limited situations where officials can be more aware of the potential for a time-out request coming from the bench and not have to divert their attention from play on the floor.

 

  • The proposed rule change would allow for the clock to stop in the final minute of a contest after any made basket, matching what other levels of play follow domestically. We feel this change would be beneficial to the high school game for a handful of reasons, including:
    * Removing situations of deliberate Delay-of-Game offenses by either team (7-5-1/10-2-1b) in an effort to conserve/consume time in end-of-game situations
    * Removes the somewhat ambiguous issue of what an appropriate amount of time is to “gather” and resume play by a team in the lead in the final minute
    * Removes the situation wherein coaches encourage Delay-of-Game offenses by athletes to conserve/consume time
    * Removes the situation where coaches are calling a “sixth” timeout to take a technical in an attempt to extend the game
    * Coaches are more able to utilize their timeouts throughout the contest versus feeling compelled to conserve them for end-of-game stoppages of the clock

    Ultimately, we feel that this rule improves our end-of-game situations for officials, coaches and fans alike; is able to be officiated/enforced by high school officials; is easily understandable for scorers and timers; and creates a more balanced situation between offensive and defensive squads, regardless of score.

 

  • By limiting the loss of the possession arrow to a throw-in violation committed by the throw-in team, there is consistency of penalty and ensuring the loss of the arrow is associated with the violation of a throw-in provision not another non-related violation.  The loss of the arrow associated with a violation should be limited to those violations in rule 9-2-1 thru 9.

 

  • The exemption to this rule would alleviate the official’s duty to determine if a ball was simultaneously touched, by the defense and then offense (in a backcourt violation situation), and helps them to continue to officiate the defense. The definition added would clear up confusion as to what a “loose ball” is and what it is not.

 

  • Other Rules Affected:
    Loose ball: When a player is holding, dribbling, or passing a ball, a loose ball occurs if the player a) fumbles the ball, b) has an interrupted dribble, c) loses player control when a defender bats or deflects the ball from their possession, d) has a pass deflected, or e) releases the ball during a try.

 

  • Allow dunking during the pre-game warmup period.

Rationale: Is pre-game considered a “dead ball” period? My rationale addresses a few areas.

  1. An attempt to get more people attending high school basketball. Attendance is down across the country and this rule change may get more people interested in attending a game, if for no other reason than to watch the kids attempt to dunk in pre-game.
  2. It may be the only athletic act that is allowed during a game, but during pre-game warmups.
  3. There could be, and I emphasize could be, a potential liability suit if a player is injured while attempting a dunk during a game, yet was not allowed to practice/warmup the act of dunking during warmups.
  4.  There is less risk of injury dunking in warmups, then during a game while being contended by an opponent.

 

The next step is up to the state associations when they vote.

Below is the complete NFHS release-

Basketball Rules Committee Meeting Proposed Rules Changes
RULES CHANGES
 
No. Page Rule Ref Proposed Changes with Rationale Submitted By
1 13 1-12-1a Its solid color shall be Pantone Matching System (PMS) Orand,151, Red-Orange 173, or Brown 1535 or a combination of two of these colors with a solid color for each panel, effective 2019-20.

 

Rationale:  Allowing for a combination colored ball, provides options for ball choices while maintaining the color scheme.

Theresia Wynns, NFHS Editor
2 13 1-12-1c It shall have a deeply-pebbled, granulated like, cover with horizontally shaped panels bonded tightly to the rubber carcass.

 

Rationale:  The additional words give manufacturers a better sense of what a deeply-pebbled cover should look like.

Theresia Wynns, NFHS Editor
3 24 3-4-1c c. The torso color shall be white light for the home team and a contrasting dark color for the visiting team.

 

Rationale: Jersey manufacturing has changed with the times and officials can clearly distinguish between a light and dark color.  The light gray color for example, has become extremely popular for teams and it is not permitted as a home jersey.  As long as there is a contrast in team colors, it should be permissible.

Robert Holloway, Clinton, MS
4 24 3-4-1c The torso color shall be white for the home team and a contrasting dark color for the visiting team.

NOTE 1: It is recommended that the dark torso color for the visiting team be the darker color of the school’s color scheme or black.

NOTE 2: By mutual agreement, the torso color may be white for the visiting team and may be a contrasting dark color for the home team. If there is a dispute over jersey color, the home team shall wear white.

 

Rationale: In many cases, teams are traveling for multiple day events, and have concerns about laundry while traveling, etc. In addition, this would allow the home team to wear a dark jersey to commemorate a former team uniform or another special occasion. As long as one team wears white, the ability to easily officiate and distinguish between the teams is not impacted.

Julian Tackett, Lexington, KY
5 26 3-5-3b The sleeves/tights, compression shorts shall be black or white, beige or the predominant color of the jersey and the same color sleeves/tights shall be worn by teammates.

 

Rationale: It makes the rule easier to understand by officials, coaches & players.  We are spending more time discussing what is legal & illegal with uniforms & apparel than we are spending with hand-checking, post-play, etc. It will also put more responsibility on coaches to make sure their players are dressed legally.

Gene Menees, Hermitage, TN
6 26 3-5-3c All sleeves/tights, compression shorts shall be the same solid color black or white and must be the same color as any headband or wristband worn.

 

Rationale: It makes the rule easier to understand by officials, coaches & players.  We are spending more time discussing what is legal & illegal with uniforms & apparel than we are spending with hand-checking, post-play, etc. It will also put more responsibility on coaches to make sure their players are dressed legally.

Gene Menees, Hermitage, TN
7 26 3-5-4a Headbands and wristbands shall be white or black, beige or the predominant color of the jersey and shall be the same color for each item and all participants. They must be the same color as any sleeve/tights worn. See 3-6 for logo requirements.

 

Rationale: It makes the rule easier to understand by officials, coaches & players.  We are spending more time discussing what is legal & illegal with uniforms & apparel than we are spending with hand-checking, post-play, etc. It will also put more responsibility on coaches to make sure their players are dressed legally.

Gene Menees, Hermitage, TN
8 29 4-6-5 (NEW) Basket interference occurs when a player: Unintentionally slapping or striking the backboard or causing the ring to vibrate while a try or tap is in flight or is touching the backboard or is in the basket or in the cylinder above the basket.

 

Rationale: Basket interference should be expanded to include the unintentional slapping or striking of the backboard causing the ring to vibrate. Currently a slap of the backboard has no penalty other than the assessment of a technical foul when the act is deemed intentional. Quite often the slapping of the backboard occurs unintentionally in legitimate attempts to block a shot, which then causes the basket ring to vibrate or move in a way that may cause the ball “fall” off the ring.  Having this addition to the basket interference rule would afford officials an alternative to the determination of an intentional act (resulting in a technical foul) or unintentional (resulting in an awarded basket) in situations when the backboard is slapped.
Other Rules Affected:

Rule: 4 Section: 22 Article:
Rule: 9 Section: 11 Article:
Rule: 10 Section: 4 Article: 4

Jerry Beers, Brookings, SD
9 29 4-8-1a,b ART. 1 . . . A bonus free throw is the second free throw Bonus free throws are those awarded for a common foul (except a player-control or team-control foul) as follows:

a. Beginning with a team’s seventh foul in each half and for the eighth and ninth foul, the bonus is awarded if the first free throw is successful. The bonus is two free throws that are awarded for each personal foul, and each subsequent foul, beginning with the sixth foul in each quarter.

b. Beginning with a team’s 10th foul in each half, two free throws are awarded whether or not the first free throw is successful. The team foul total should be zeroed out at the end of each quarter, with the exception of any overtime period. The overtime period is considered an extension of the fourth quarter.

 

Rationale: This rule change proposal is designed to allow for a better flow of the game, and spend less time at the free throw line. During free throw administration the potential for numerous negative acts to occur, with up to seven players is a confined area.  This proposal also provides for only one number of free throws awarded regardless if the foul was committed during a try or after reaching the bonus foul count (two free throws for all).  This change has been implemented in the NCAA women’s game for the past two years, and even with their bonus going into effect on the 5th foul, only 22% of the time do teams reach the bonus. This will reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a game, especially critical on a school night that proceeds a school day.

Ernie Yarbrough, Thomaston, GA
10 34 4-22- Goaltending occurs when a defensive player touches the ball during a field-goal try or tap while the ball is in its downward flight entirely above the basket ring level, has the possibility of entering the basket in flight and is not touching the basket cylinder or a defensive player touches the ball outside the cylinder during a free-throw attempt.

 

Rationale: Realistically why would an offensive player goaltend a try at his/her basket? By making this a defensive violation only, the rule is clearer and makes enforcement easier for officials. If the shooting team cannot commit this violation, the officials do not have to determine whether a ball thrown toward the basket and meets the requirements for a goaltending violation is a try or a pass. By removing the offensive team from this violation, players too do not have to try to determine whether a ball in flight is a try or a pass and teams can have more potential for scoring plays at the basket.
Other Rules Affected:
Rule: 9 Section: 12 Article:
Rule: 9 Section: 12 Article: Penalties

David Smith, Golden, CO
11 34 4-23-6

New

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-7-1b

New

 

4-38

New

 

 

4-41

New

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10-7-11

Art. 6 A secondary defender as defined in Rule 4-41(added rule in definitions) cannot establish initial legal guarding position in the restricted area for the purpose of drawing a player control foul/charge when defending a player who is in control of the ball (i.e., dribbling or shooting) or who has released the ball for a pass or try. When illegal contact occurs within this Restricted Area (New 4-38), such contact shall be called a blocking foul, unless the contact is a flagrant foul. 

a. When illegal contact occurs by the offensive player leading with a foot or unnatural, extended knee, or warding off with the arm, such contact shall be called a player-control foul.

b. When a player in control of the ball stops continuous movement toward the basket and then initiates illegal contact with a secondary defender in the restricted area, this is a player control foul.

c. This restriction shall not apply to a secondary defender who establishes legal guardian position in the Restricted Area Arc and jumps straight up with arms in legal verticality position and attempts to block a shot.

 

Illegal contact made by a grounded secondary defender in the restricted-area shall constitute a blocking foul.

 

The restricted area is defined as the area bounded by the outer edge of the restricted-area arc, which has a 4-foot radius measured from the center of the basket to the inside of the arc line and extending to the face of the backboard. A secondary defender is considered to be in the restricted area when any part of either foot is in or above this area.

Secondary Defender

Art. 1. A secondary defender is a teammate who has helped a primary defender after that player has been beaten by an opponent because he failed to establish or maintain a guarding position. A defensive player is beaten when the offensive player’s head and shoulders get past the defender.

Art. 2. A secondary defender is a teammate who double teams a low post player.

Art. 3. After an offensive rebound, there are no secondary defenders when the rebounder makes an immediate move to the basket.

Art. 4. In an outnumbering fast-break situation, any defensive player(s) initially shall be a secondary defender. This designation as a secondary defender shall not prevent the defender from establishing legal guarding position on an offensive player and defending that player all the way to the basket including in the Restricted Area Arc.

 

Would remain the same indicating that players shall adhere to the contact rules.

 

Rationale: We are proposing a restricted-area arc for player safety reasons.  Players who attempt to draw player control/charging fouls under the basket constitutes a significant safety issue that can be avoided by not allowing secondary defenders to set up defensively in the restricted area.  This rule will only come into play with a grounded secondary defender.  All other plays are covered by other rules (verticality, guarding, contact, etc.).

Lisa Lissimore, Brooklyn Center, MN
12 45 5-8-3 Grants and signals a player’s/head coach’s oral or visual request for a time-out, such request being granted only when a player’s oral or visual request for a time-out in a. thru c. or a head coach’s oral or visual request in b. and c.:

a.  The ball is at the disposal or in control of a player of his/her team.

b.  The ball is dead, unless replacement of a disqualified, or injured player(s) or a player directed to leave the game is pending, and a substitute(s) is available and required.

NEW c.  When the ball is at the disposal of a player of the team entitled to a throw-in before the ball has been released on the pass directly onto the court.

 

Rationale: Allowing the head coach to request a time-out during a live ball creates problems for officials, especially in a two-person crew, as they frequently have to divert their attention and eyes from the play to the bench area to determine who is requesting the time-out which may result in missing critical action on the court.  By allowing the head coach to request a time-out only when the ball is dead or during a throw-in still permits him/her to directly request a time-out in those limited situations where officials can be more aware of the potential for a time-out request coming from the bench and not have to divert their attention from play on the floor.

David Smith, Golden, CO
13 45 5-8-5 (New) …Recognizes each successful field goal in the last 59.9 seconds of the fourth quarter or any extra period.

 

Rationale: The proposed rule change would allow for the clock to stop in the final minute of a contest after any made basket, matching what other levels of play follow domestically. We feel this change would be beneficial to the high school game for a handful of reasons, including:
* Removing situations of deliberate Delay-of-Game offenses by either team (7-5-1/10-2-1b) in an effort to conserve/consume time in end-of-game situations
* Removes the somewhat ambiguous issue of what an appropriate amount of time is to “gather” and resume play by a team in the lead in the final minute
* Removes the situation wherein coaches encourage Delay-of-Game offenses by athletes to conserve/consume time
* Removes the situation where coaches are calling a “sixth” timeout to take a technical in an attempt to extend the game
* Coaches are more able to utilize their timeouts throughout the contest versus feeling compelled to conserve them for end-of-game stoppages of the clock

Ultimately, we feel that this rule improves our end-of-game situations for officials, coaches and fans alike; is able to be officiated/enforced by high school officials; is easily understandable for scorers and timers; and creates a more balanced situation between offensive and defensive squads, regardless of score.
Other Rules Affected:
Rule: 5 Section: 9 Article:
Rule: 6 Section: 5 Article:
Rule: 7 Section: 5 Article:

John Krogstrand, Pierre, SD
14 49 6-4-5 The opportunity to make an alternating-possession throw-in is lost if the throw-in team violates commits a throw-in violation. If either team fouls during an alternating-possession throw-in, it does not cause the throw-in team to lose the possession arrow.  If the defensive team commits a violation during the throw-in, or the throw-in team commits a violation other than a throw-in violation, the possession arrow is not switched.

 

Rationale: By limiting the loss of the possession arrow to a throw-in violation committed by the throw-in team, there is consistency of penalty and ensuring the loss of the arrow is associated with the violation of a throw-in provision not another non-related violation.  The loss of the arrow associated with a violation should be limited to those violations in rule 9-2-1 thru 9.

David Smith, Golden, CO
15 59 9-9-1

New Exemption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-30

New

Exemption: A pass or any other loose ball in the front court that is deflected by a defensive player, which causes the ball to go into the backcourt, may be recovered by either team EVEN IF the offense was last to touch the ball, without player control, before it went into the backcourt.

 

Rationale: The exemption to this rule would alleviate the official’s duty to determine if a ball was simultaneously touched, by the defense and then offense (in a backcourt violation situation), and helps them to continue to officiate the defense.

The definition added would clear up confusion as to what a “loose ball” is and what it is not.
Other Rules Affected:
Loose ball: When a player is holding, dribbling, or passing a ball, a loose ball occurs if the player a) fumbles the ball, b) has an interrupted dribble, c) loses player control when a defender bats or deflects the ball from their possession, d) has a pass deflected, or e) releases the ball during a try.


Rule: 4 Section: 12 Article:

Andrew Gross, Madison, SD
16 59 9-9-1 A player shall not be the first to touch the ball after it has been in team control 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. A pass in the frontcourt that is deflected by a defensive player so that the ball goes into the Backcourt may be recovered by either team.

 

Rationale: To correct a likely prior omission and ensure that a team is not unfairly disadvantaged. This also makes the play situation on the deflected pass consistent with other codes with very similar team control and backcourt rules.

Julian Tackett, Lexington, KY
17 62 10-4-3 Allow dunking during the pre-game warmup period.

 

Rationale: Is pre-game considered a “dead ball” period? My rationale addresses a few areas.

1. An attempt to get more people attending high school basketball. Attendance is down across the country and this rule change may get more people interested in attending a game, if for no other reason than to watch the kids attempt to dunk in pre-game.

2. It may be the only athletic act that is allowed during a game, but during pre-game warmups.

3. There could be, and I emphasize could be, a potential liability suit if a player is injured while attempting a dunk during a game, yet was not allowed to practice/warmup the act of dunking during warmups.

4. There is less risk of injury dunking in warmups, then during a game while being contended by an opponent.

Ernie Yarbrough, Thomaston, GA
18 64 10-6-4 The head coach shall not permit a team member to participate while wearing an illegal uniform

(see 3-4)or illegal apparel.

Penalty – Direct technical foul charged to the head coach.  Rule 10, Section 6, Article 4:  The head coach shall not permit a team member to participate while wearing an illegal uniform (see 3-4) or illegal apparel.
Rationale: It makes the rule easier to understand by officials, coaches & players.  We are spending more time discussing what is legal & illegal with uniforms & apparel than we are spending with hand checking, post-play, etc.

It will also put more responsibility on coaches to make sure their players are dressed legally.

Gene Menees, Hermitage, TN

 

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