2020-21 Basketball Rules Considerations for COVID

2020-21 Basketball Rules Considerations

In support of the Guidance for Opening Up High School Athletics and Activities, the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee offers this document as guidance on how state associations can consider modifications to the NFHS Basketball Rules Book. The modifications outlined in this document are meant to decrease potential exposure to respiratory droplets by encouraging social distancing, limiting participation in administrative tasks to essential personnel and allowing for appropriate protective equipment.

Return to Competition

  1. Basketball Rules Considerations
    • Pregame Protocol (2019-2020 NFHS Officials Manual, page 16, 1.8; NFHS Basketball Rule Book – 3-4-5)
      • Limit attendees to the referee and the head coach from each team with each coach standing on the center circle on each side of the division line.
      • All individuals maintain a social distance of 6 feet or greater at the center circle.
      • Suspend handshakes prior to and following the Pregame Conference.
    • Team Benches (1-13-1)
      • Social distancing should be practiced when possible. Below are some suggestions.
        • Limit the number of bench personnel to observe social distancing of 6 feet or greater.
        • Place team benches opposite the spectator seating.
        • Additional chairs or rows may be added to allow bench personnel to observe social distancing of 6 feet or greater.
        • Create separation between the team bench and spectator seating behind the bench.
        • Limit contact between players when substituting.
        • Personnel not in the game should adhere to any required local/state face covering requirements.
      • Officials Table (2-1-3)
        • The host should sanitize the table before the game and at half time.
        • Place officials table sufficiently away from the sideline to allow for additional space for substitutes.
        • Limit seats at the table to essential personnel which includes home team scorer and timer with a recommend distance of 6 feet or greater between individuals. Other personnel (visiting scorer, statisticians, media, etc.) may not be deemed essential personnel and consider an alternate location for them.
      • Table personnel should adhere to any required local/state face covering requirements.
  1. Pre and Post Game Ceremony
    • Suspend the pregame introduction handshakes.
    • Suspend post game protocol of shaking hands.
  2. Basketball Rules Interpretations
      • Basketball
        • Ball given to officials in the locker room, where it is sanitized as recommended by the ball manufacturer and not used for warm-ups.
        • The host school should ensure that the ball is sanitized during time-outs and between quarters.
        • Sanitizer should be provided by the host team at the table.
      • Cloth face coverings are permissible for players.
      • Consider requiring coaching staff and other bench personnel to wear face coverings while on the bench.
    • Rule 5-3 Officials Uniform and Equipment
      • By state association adoption, long-sleeved shirts are permissible. (5-1-3)
      • Officials should not be required to wear jackets during pre-game court/player observation.
      • Electronic whistles are permissible (supplies are limited).
        • Choose a whistle whose tone will carry inside.
        • Check the market for choices
      • Cloth face coverings are permissible.
      • Gloves are permissible.
  1. Other Considerations
  • Throw-in
    • Official may stand 6 feet or greater away from player making the throw-in and bounce the ball to that player on a front court throw-in.
  • Free Throw Administration
    • The lead official shall stand on the end line and bounce the ball to the free thrower.
  • Jump Ball
    • Eliminate the jump ball and award the ball to the visiting team the first alternating possession for the throw in.

To start an overtime period, use a coin toss to determine which team is award

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