Color of Home Jerseys Addressed

At 2004 Basketball Rules Committee Meeting


The color of home jerseys was one of the major topics discussed during the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee meeting April 17-19 in Indianapolis.


Effective with the 2007-08 high school basketball season, home jerseys are to be white, while visiting jerseys will remain a dark color. Rule 3-4-6 previously stated that light-colored home jerseys should be worn. However, as teams have taken greater liberties with this regulation, confusion has surfaced as home jerseys have begun to resemble visiting jerseys.


“In more recent times, teams and schools have been more creative with light colors,” said Mary Struckhoff, NFHS assistant director and staff liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee. “Traditionally, home uniforms were white, and we want to get back to that.”


Another rule addressed during the meeting involves penalties for players who leave the bench during a conflict on the court. Rule 10-4-4 formerly labeled a conflict as a fight only if there were punches involved, whereas the rule now will include any situation in which a fight may occur. Therefore, any person who leaves the bench for a fight or potential fight will be subject to ejection from the game. 

“We expanded the parameters to not only include a fight situation, but also when a fight may break out,” Struckhoff said. “Coaches must ensure that players and all personnel stay at the bench when any kind of volatile situation takes place on the court.”


            Other changes made by the committee:


  • Rule 10-3-7d involves purposely obstructing an opponent’s vision by waving or placing one’s hands near the eyes. While in the past only the person with the ball could be treated in such a manner, this change prohibits any player from purposely obstructing another player’s vision, whether or not he or she has the ball.
  • Rule 4-29 extends the kicking rule from the original stipulation that a kick was intentional only if it occurred at the knee or below. Now, the rule has been altered to include the entire leg.
  • Rules 1-5-2 and 1-13-2 were altered to reflect what has already become common practice. These changes permit the lane space marks and neutral zone to be the same color as the lane lines and end lines. Additionally, the coaching box line is no longer required to contrast with the boundary lines.

A change to be reflected in the next edition (2005-07) of the NFHS Basketball Officials Manual was also made at the meeting. In a three-person officiating crew, the foul-calling official will go tableside after calling a foul to aid in better communication with coaches and the scorer’s table.


According to the 2002-03 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS, 540,874 boys participated in basketball in 17,333 high schools, while 457,165 girls participated in 17,028 high schools.




2004-05 Basketball Rules Changes



Deletes the requirement for contrasting colored lines for the lane spaces/neutral zone and lane boundary lines.



Deletes the requirement for the coaching box line to contrast with the boundary lines.


3-4-6 Note

Beginning in 2007-08, the home team will be required to wear white jerseys and the visiting team dark jerseys.



Expanded kicking rule to include intentionally striking the ball with any part of the leg or foot.



Expanded rule pertaining to obstructing an opponent’s vision to include the player with the ball.



Added that bench personnel will be charged with a flagrant foul if they leave the confines of the bench when a fight may break out.






2004-05 Major Editorial Changes

3-3-6 Note 

Added a new note clarifying that both teams must request a time-out in order to keep two opposing players in the game that were both directed to leave for injury/blood.



Clarifies that a closely guarded situation occurs when the player holding or dribbling the ball is continuously guarded by any opponent who is within six feet.



Clarifies that continuous motion applies to a try or tap for field goals and free throws, when there is a foul by any defensive player, not just a defensive foul on the shooter.



Further clarified the requirements after initial legal guarding position has been established.



Clarifies that a team will retain end line run privileges after a violation or common foul.


8-1-1 & 2

Separates previous Art. 1 into two articles addressing typical free throw administration and when the resumption-of-play procedure is in effect (remaining articles were renumbered).



Signal Chart

Illegal use of hands adjusted from an open hand to a closed fist across the arm.


2004-05 Points of Emphasis


  1. Closely Guarded
  2. Time-out Administration
  3. Legal Player Positioning
  4. Specific Unsporting Acts




Major Officials Manual Change


(NOTE: The NFHS Officials Manual is not being edited this year; however, the Basketball Rules Committee made the following change, which will be reflected in the 2005-07 edition.)


The foul calling official in a three-person crew will go tableside after calling the foul to enhance communication with coaches and the scorer’s table.