Responsibility on Players to Avoid Illegal Contact
With a continued emphasis on minimizing risk in high school football, it is imperative for coaches to continue educating their student-athletes regarding the importance and responsibility of avoiding illegal contact. With the recent implementation of NFHS football rules prohibiting targeting, illegal contact on defenseless players, illegal blindside blocks, illegal pop-up kicks and other illegal personal contact fouls, the NFHS is reiterating its focus on player safety. Players are ultimately responsible for using legal blocking and tackling techniques, and coaches have a responsibility to emphasize the use of legal contact. Therefore, unnecessary contact with opponents who are clearly out of the play, or contact that is excessive and unnecessary, have no place in the game of football. These unnecessary hits are unsafe acts and the techniques cannot be tolerated by those responsible for the game of football. Coaches need to exercise leadership in eliminating illegal contact and game officials must act decisively to penalize illegal contact to minimize the risk of injury to players.