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NFHS changes rules on home/away soccer uniforms

February 15, 2018 / Soccer
From the NFHS

Beginning next season, visiting high school soccer teams will be required to wear solid white jerseys while the home team will wear dark colors.

Photo: Kevin Hoffman

The change was one of nine approved last month by the National Federation of State High School Association’s (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee. Traditionally, home teams wear white, but committee members say this gives hosting schools more flexibility to wear school colors and alternative jerseys.

The change will take effect with the 2018-19 school year.

Additional high school soccer changes

• The committee approved a change that would permit a player to participate while wearing head covering, if the player meets certain criteria and if the applicable state association approved the request. If approved by the state high school association, players could participate with a head covering for medical/cosmetic reasons or for religious reasons.

Another example of unsporting conduct was approved by the committee involving denying obvious goal-scoring opportunities in a game. When a player commits an offense against an opponent within its team penalty area that denies the opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, a yellow card is given if the offense was an attempt to play the ball. Previously in this scenario, the player received a red card in addition to the team receiving a penalty kick.

• One rule regarding the offside rule was revised. Rule 11-1-4 now states that “A player is offside and penalized if, at the time the ball touches or is played by a teammate, the player, in an offside position, becomes involved in active play … “The penalty remains an indirect free kick at the spot of the infraction, but it now will be subject to the provisions in Rule 13-1-3.”

• In another uniform change, undergarments can be a different solid color than the uniform, although the length and color of the undergarments must be the same for all members of the team.

• As a result of the change made last year that allowed the kickoff to be taken in any direction, the committee revised Rule 8-1-2 to allow the player taking the kickoff to be in the opponent’s half of the field in order to take the kickoff.

• The committee addressed proper sportsmanship with an addition to Rule 13-2-1. If a player, coach or bench personnel enters or leaves the field of play without permission of an official and interferes with play or an official, a direct free kick will be awarded at the point of the infraction.

• In Rule 18, the committee approved a new definition of deliberate act, which is “one in which a player chooses to act, regardless of the outcome of that action. This deliberate act is neither reaction nor reflex. A deliberate action may result in the opponent benefiting from the action, e.g., a deliberate but misplayed ball that goes directly to an opponent. A reaction or reflex may result in that player benefiting from the action, e.g., a ball inadvertently contacting the arm and falling directly to the player’s feet.”

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