FEW CHANGES MADE IN 2004 HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER RULES
A focus on risk minimization and substitutions highlighted the January 25-26 meeting of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee.
The most important change made was a clarification from the 2003 rules meeting regarding goal post padding. "Last year, we permitted goal post padding for the first time," said Tim Flannery, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the NFHS Soccer Rules Committee. "This year, we clarified that rule by adding the specifications for the padding."
That clarification is of Rule
Another major rule that deals
with risk minimization is Rule
A second major issue at this
year's meeting dealt with substitutions. A line in Rule
Also along the lines of
substitution, an addition to Rule
"Allowing substitutes on corner kicks is a big change," Flannery said. "It now puts us [NFHS] in line with the NCAA."
A change to Rule
Also, a new rule has been added with regard to assistant referee signals used in the diagonal system of officiating. The rule states that if the assistant referee sees a foul or misconduct, he or she will indicate this by holding the flag vertically until acknowledged by the referee. Once acknowledged, the assistant referee will wiggle the flag and point the flag in the direction where the free kick will take place.
In addition, each year the
committee identifies certain aspects of the rules that aren't being changed,
but are being stressed in the Points of Emphasis. This year, the Points of
Emphasis focused on six central themes:
"The committee continues to stress the importance for players and coaches to model good sporting behavior in all soccer contests," said Dr. Robert Lombardi, associate executive director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and chairman of the NFHS Soccer Rules Committee. "This year, as we have for the past several years, the committee continues to place emphasis on minimizing risk in soccer."
Soccer is the fifth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 345,156 participants, according to the 2002-03 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS. It ranks seventh in terms of school sponsorship with 10,103. On the girls side, it also is fifth in popularity with 301,450 participants in 9,299 schools.