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New Rules for High School Basketball Promoting Good Sportsmanship Approved for 2010-2011

Among the high school basketball rule changes recently approved for the 2010-11 season by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)  are those promoting good sportsmanship.

Basketball players shaking handsTo reduce the likelihood of individual players demonstrating unsportsmanlike behavior, a player leaving the court for an unauthorized reason to demonstrate resentment, disgust or intimidation will now be assessed a technical foul.

A similar rule has been added requiring team members to remain on the court and in the bench area while the game is in progress until each quarter or extra period has officially ended. This includes free-throw attempts by an opponent with no time remaining on the clock. Since the Head Coach is ultimately responsible for the conduct of all team members, the penalty for violations of this rule will be a technical foul assessed directly against the Head Coach.

Sportsmanship will also be addressed in a 2010-11 Point of Emphasis relating to pregame warm-ups and intermissions, recommending that players entering the court for warm-ups not run through the opposing team's warm-up or under its basket.

Concussion rule change 

A significant rules change that will affect all sports requires that any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion, including but not limited to loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems, must be removed from the contest immediately and shall not return to play before being cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.

Participation numbers

Basketball is the second-most popular sport for girls and third-most popular for boys at the high school level, according to the 2008-09 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS, with 444,809 girls and 545,145 boys participating nationwide. The sport ranks first in school sponsorship of girls and boys teams with 17,582 schools sponsoring the sport for girls and 17,869 sponsoring the sport for boys.

A complete listing of all rules changes for the 2010-2011 season is available on the NFHS Web site.