June 18, 2018
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Rule change lets high school basketball coaches on court to break up a fight

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

High school basketball head coaches will be allowed to come onto the court in an effort to break up a fight or keep a situation from escalating, according to a rule revision recently approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Previously, the head coach could only enter the court if beckoned by an official.

While the head coach and assistants must continue to ensure that players remain on the bench during a fight, the NFHS basketball committee determined that the presence of the head coach on the court could be instrumental in preventing the situation from escalating, and the coach also could assist game officials in controlling the situation.

“By removing the requirement of the head coach being beckoned onto the floor by the officials, it should result in a more expedient resolution of the situation and restoration of order,” Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials education, said in a press release. “The change also will allow the officials a greater opportunity to assess appropriate penalties by being able to observe the situation because of the increased assistance the head coach(es) will provide by their presence.”

In other changes, the rules committee approved the use of electronic devices during the game in certain instances.

The updated rule will allow a coach to take advantage of electronic devices for use in coaching and gathering statistics. Teams, however, cannot use electronic equipment for voice communication with players on the court, and the use of electronic audio or video devices are not allowed to review a decision of the game officials.

In an effort to thwart the use of leg-compression sleeves for nonmedical reasons, the committee added leg-compression sleeves to the requirements of arm-compression sleeves.

Leg-compression sleeves shall be white, black, beige or a single solid school color; shall be the same color for each team member; must meet established logo requirements; and must only be worn for medical reasons.

The final rules change approved for the 2013-14 season will permit a single, visible manufacturer’s logo, trademark or reference on the team jersey, not to exceed 2¼ square inches with no dimension more than 2¼ inches. The manufacturer’s logo may be located no more than 5 inches below the shoulder seam on the front of the jersey, or 2 inches from the neckline on the back of the jersey, or in either side insert.

Wynns said this change will bring basketball in agreement with other NFHS sports rules and allow the use of a single manufacturer’s logo on the jersey of the playing uniform.

In addition to the rule changes, the NFHS approved a new defensive tip signal that will be added to the basketball officials manual. This signal will be given by the official when the ball enters the back court as a result of contact with the defensive player.

Seven unbeatens remain

The ranks of the undefeated in the state’s high school baseball world continue to dwindle with a little more than two weeks left in the regular season.

Wisdom of Saint Agatha’s 4-3 loss at Fort Fairfield on Monday reduced the number of unbeaten teams in Eastern Maine to two entering Tuesday’s play.

Defending Eastern B champion Foxcroft Academy took an 8-0 record into its home game Tuesday against Old Town. Old Town (5-5) is coming off recent victories over Penobscot Valley Conference contenders Mount Desert Island and John Bapst of Bangor, and the Coyotes took Foxcroft to eight innings before falling to the Ponies 9-6 in their earlier meeting this spring.

Foxcroft is coming off a 10-day layoff in its schedule, and the Old Town contest was the first of four straight home games for the Ponies.

Reigning Class D state champion Bangor Christian improved its record to 10-0 Monday with a 12-0 victory over Piscataquis of Guilford, Despite the record, the Patriots were ranked just fifth in Eastern D, a status they hope to improve in their next game Thursday at home against 8-3 Dexter, the second-ranked team in Eastern C.

Five Western Maine teams began the week undefeated, two in Class A where Marshwood of South Berwick (9-0) and defending regional champion Scarborough (7-0) took unblemished records into Tuesday’s schedule.

Greely of Cumberland Center is 10-0 and atop the Western B standings, while Saint Dominic of Auburn is 10-0 and ranked first in Western C.

Valley of Bingham is the other Western Maine unbeaten at 5-0. The Cavaliers were ranked No. 1 in Class D heading into Tuesday’s doubleheader at 6-3 Forest Hills of Jackman.

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