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high school football makes major rule changes for player safety

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high school football makes major rule changes for player safety

the national federation of state high school associations, the governing body of high school sports, has once again stiffened rules in high school football in the name of safety.new regulations released wednesday formally eliminate the blindside block and “pop-up” onside kicks.a hit on any player who is not carrying the ball and “does not see the blocker approaching,” is now punished with a 15-yard penalty. such a hit, rule 9-4-3n states, “involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration, is vulnerable to injury.” a blindside hit is legal if it is initiated with “open hands,” the rule says.that’s going to be very difficult to judge, said dennis hall, commissioner of the northern virginia football officials association. the group referees games in fauquier, prince william, fairfax, arlington and loudoun counties, and the city of alexandria.“that’s nasty, the way they wrote it,” hall said. “i understand the intent of it and i think it’s good, the intent of it, but what you’re going to hear from the sideline now is, ‘well, he didn’t see him.’ ”a blindside block has always been punishable, hall said, as unnecessary roughness or a hit on a “defenseless player,” both 15-yard penalties. the new nfhs regulations specify that the subject of a blindside block is defenseless, too.the rule changes also defines the following as defenseless players:a player in the act of or just after...