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New Basketball Backcourt Rule for High School

The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) published new basketball backcourt rule exception. A shiny looking, 'rules exception' about backcourt violations, but in doing so they have confused many officials.

Let's get this 'clarification' about backcourt rules right. The language provided by NFHS:

9-9-1: A player shall not be the first to touch the ball after it has been in team control in the frontcourt, if he/she or a teammate last touched or was touched by the ball in the frontcourt before it went to the backcourt. EXCEPTION: Any player located in the backcourt may recover a ball deflected from the frontcourt by the defense.

9-9-1: A player shall not be the first to touch the ball after it has been in team control in the frontcourt, if he/she or a teammate last touched or was touched by the ball in the frontcourt before it went to the backcourt.… Click To Tweet

Our video explaination:

Our rules clarification for this year 2018 is about backcourt violations. It involves one single play that was improperly interpreted by the committee in 2007 as being a violation. We are going to look at that play. This play is now, by rule, LEGAL. So, the NFHS said, "You know what? We had this interpretation. It was wrong. We're going to fix it by including an exception into the rule. Recognize that the backcourt RULES. HAVE. NOT. CHANGED! Here is our play... This is a legal play.

Misguided Rules Interpretation from 2007 about basketball backcourt violation

In 2007, NFHS said this play is illegal and this is a backcourt violation on red. When we look at backcourt plays, let's go through our process -- our checklist. We have Team Control by Red. They are holding or dribbling the ball in the backcourt. The ball is passed and is contacted by a player with frontcourt status -- White. This means that the ball now has Frontcourt status by rule. Again, these are the basics. The Red player (with backcourt status) jumps and catches the ball in the air now giving the ball backcourt status. In 2007 NFHS had an interpretation that this play is illegal. NFHS: we are going to rule that this player was: both the last to touch in the frontcourt and the first to touch in the backcourt *simultaneously* by catching the ball. It was convoluted logic and has now been corrected.

NFHS sees the light about their erroneous interpretation!

This play is now legal. A critical component to understand is even though there's language being expressed by NFHS about backcourt rules and restrictions, that this is the ONLY play that is being addressed!! This one play! This play is legal. There are no rules changes regarding backcourt violations.

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