2017 NFHS FOOTBALL RULES CHANGES
1-3-1h (NEW): Added that commercial advertising is not permitted on the ball.
Rationale: The ball cannot have commercial advertising added to the surface. The only permissible items on the ball are the ball manufacturer’s name and/or logo; school name, logo and/or mascot; conference name and/or logo; state association name and/or logos; and NFHS name and/or logos.
1-5-1b(3): Further clarifies that the jersey of the home team shall be a dark color clearly contrasting to the white jersey required for the visiting team.
Rationale: Home game jersey specifications were further revised to provide schools and manufacturers additional clarification regarding the current trend of utilizing lighter gray shades. The implementation date of 2021 affords schools and manufacturers the opportunity to ensure that newer dark-colored jerseys will clearly contrast with white jerseys. The requirement for contrasting colors to white is not a new rule, and this new clarification will allow changes to be made during normal replacement cycles.
1-5-1a(2) NOTE, 1-5-4: This change now permits any of the game officials to accompany the referee to meet with the head coach for equipment verification.
Rationale: Member state associations may determine the game official who is to accompany the referee during the required pre-game meeting with each head coach.
2-3-10 (NEW), 9-4-3n (NEW), 9-4 PENALTY: Added a new definition for a blindside block and specifies a penalty for an illegal blindside block.
Rationale: Continuing with the focus on risk minimization, the committee created a definition for a blindside block. This block involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration, is vulnerable to injury. Unless initiated with open hands, it is a foul for excessive and unnecessary contact when the block is forceful and outside of the free-blocking zone.
2-16-2h: Clarified that illegal participation fouls by the receiving team occurring during the kick are now enforced under post-scrimmage kick fouls.
Rationale: Illegal participation fouls by the receiving team occurring during the kick are now enforced under post-scrimmage kick fouls. Illegal substitution and illegal participation fouls by the receiving team occurring at the snap continue to be enforced from the previous spot.
2-24-10 (NEW), 6-1-11 (NEW), 6-1 PENALTY: Added a new definition for a pop-up kick and specifies a penalty for a pop-up kick.
Rationale: Continuing with the committee’s efforts to minimize risk, a pop-up kickoff has been defined. A pop-up kick is a free kick in which the kicker drives the ball immediately to the ground, the ball strikes the ground once and goes into the air in the manner of a ball kicked directly off the tee. Such kicks will be penalized as a dead-ball free-kick infraction.