Football Points of Emphasis - 2017

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.

Elimination of Clipping in Free-Blocking Zone Continues Risk Minimization in High School Football

The elimination of clipping from high school football is the latest attempt to reduce the risk of injury made by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee.

The decision to eliminate clipping in the free-blocking zone (Rule 2-17-3) was the most significant of three rules changes recommended by the NFHS Football Rules Committee at its January 22-24 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.