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Coaches are adapting to new NFHS hoops rule

Games could see slower pace as a results

Posted: July 28, 2014 8:54 p.m.
Updated: July 28, 2014 8:54 p.m.

Remember those fast-paced Foothill League hoops games last season?

Well get ready … the pace might slow down a little bit in 2014.

After the NCAA adopted new hand check rules last season that resulted in what many felt was a slower-paced, borderline boring game, the National Federation of State High School Associations, which governs high school sports, adopted similar rules for next season.

The rules are designed to take the opinion out of rulings on contact around the perimeter and provide a more standardized rule.

Now, a hand check should be whisted anytime an arm bar is used on a ball handler, two hands are placed on a ball handler or the so-called “hot stove” touch is used twice by the same defender on the same ball handler.

The new rules, which officially go into effect for the upcoming high school season, have been used at most summer tournaments and coaches have been trying to get their players used to the changes.

“The hand check rule, a lot of our boys have been having trouble with it. “They play AAU and it’s physical and they let you play there,” said West Ranch head coach Shant Bicacki. “And at high school, they have that new rule. It’s been a bit of a learning process for our guys.”

Another change fans will quickly notice, and probably be pleased to see, comes on the free-throw line.

Unlike in year’s past, players along the lane line will be permitted to enter the lane upon release of the ball by the free-throw shooter.

In prior season’s players needed to wait for the ball to hit the rim.

The old rule still applies to the shooter and players behind the perimeter.

But it’s the hand check rule that is going to have the most effect on the game.

“I think for everyone, there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve. It’s going to take some time. I think once certain guys get into foul trouble, everyone is going to be more conscience about it,” Bicaki said. “But definitely I think early on it’s going to be pretty tough.”


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