‘Flopping’ addressed in new high school basketball rule changes

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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A new definition and subsequent warning for faking being fouled (flopping) has been added to the NFHS Basketball Rules Book.

This revision to high school basketball rules was one of 12 changes approved by a committee in April. Changes were approved by the NFHS Board.

“The committee approved changes addressing different areas,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports. “Maintaining a focus on player safety, fairness, balance and rules that officials can effectively adjudicate continue to be the focus.”

Faking being fouled is defined in Rule 4-49-1 as when a player simulates being fouled or makes theatrical or exaggerated movements when there is no illegal contact. Examples include embellishing the impact of incidental contact on block/charge plays or field goal attempts, using a “head bob” to simulate illegal contact and using any tactic to create an opinion of being fouled to gain an advantage.

The new language establishes a procedure for officials to issue a team warning on the first instance. The warning is recorded in the scorebook and reported to the head coach. Any additional instances will result in a team technical foul and not a player technical, which was previously the case.

A change to Rule 3-4-4a removes the restriction of only lettering being allowed on the front of the jersey. This change does not require schools to purchase new uniforms.

A new note to Rule 9-10-1a and edit to Rule 4-10 allows states that utilize a 35-second shot clock to choose to eliminate the 5-second closely guarded provision while a player dribbles the ball. The closely guarded rules remain in effect while a player holds the ball regardless of whether or not a state uses a shot clock.

Rule 1-19 clarifies that the use of electronic devices during the game must be limited to recording and tracking stats, reviewing plays or similar contest-related functions. The use of electronic devices for voice or video recording is prohibited.

Rule 3-3-6 states that if bench personnel are beckoned to attend to an injured player, whether they enter the court or not, the player is subject to removal from the game unless the coach requests a time-out.

If a player is bleeding or has blood on the uniform, Rule 3-3-7 allows the player to remain in the game if the issue can be resolved in 20 seconds.

A new exception to Rule 4-6-1 involving basket interference allows for the net to be contacted and play continue if the official determines the contact to not affect the try for a goal.

A collection of changes to rules 4-47-5, 10-2-1g and 10-4-5 allows officials to issue a team warning for delay of game when a ball is not passed to an official when a whistle sounds. Any subsequent violations result in a team technical instead of a player technical.

A complete listing of the basketball changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Basketball.”

According to the 2022-23 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, basketball is the third-most popular sport for boys with 537,438 participants in 18,369 schools, and the fourth-most popular sport for girls with 373,366 participants in 17,881 schools.