Rule 4-23

RULE 4 - SECTION 23
GUARDING

ART. 1 . . . Guarding is the act of legally placing the body in the path of an offensive opponent. There is no minimum distance required between the guard and opponent, but the maximum is 6 feet when closely guarded. Every player is entitled to a spot on the playing court provided such player gets there first without illegally contacting an opponent. A player who extends an arm, shoulder, hip or leg into the path of an opponent is not considered to have a legal position if contact occurs.

ART. 2 . . . To obtain an initial legal guarding position:

a. The guard must have both feet touching the playing court.
b. The front of the guard’s torso must be facing the opponent.

ART. 3 . . . After the initial legal guarding position is obtained:

a. The guard may have one or both feet on the playing court or be airborne, provided he/she has inbound status.
b. The guard is not required to continue facing the opponent.
c. The guard may move laterally or obliquely to maintain position, – provided it is not toward the opponent when contact occurs.
d. The guard may raise hands or jump within his/her own vertical plane.
e. The guard may turn or duck to absorb the shock of imminent contact.

ART. 4 . . . Guarding an opponent with the ball or a stationary opponent – without the ball:

a. No time or distance is required to obtain an initial legal position.
b. If the opponent with the ball is airborne, the guard must have obtained legal position before the opponent left the floor.

ART. 5 . . . Guarding a moving opponent without the ball:

a. Time and distance are factors required to obtain an initial legal position.
b. The guard must give the opponent the time and/or distance to avoid contact.
c. The distance need not be more than two strides.
d. If the opponent is airborne, the guard must have obtained legal position before the opponent left the floor.

Source: NFHS Basketball Rules Book 2019-2020

All Rights Reserved. A Better Official 2020.

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