The Ohio High School Athletic Association will be making some changes to this year’s rulebook for high school football.
Last year Ohio adopted an experimental ruling, stating that any player that loses a piece of equipment on the field of play must exit the field for at least one play or until the equipment issue is resolved, according to the press release by OHSAA.
The ruling has been accepted nationally and will go into effect permanently this year.
Another rule change thatwill go into effect this year will be that kickoffs are no longer permitted in freshmen games and are only permitted in junior varsity games if both head coaches mutually agree, stated the release.
“Player safety on kickoffs is something being discussed at all levels of football – professional, college, high school and younger,” said Beau Rugg, OHSAA Director of Sport Management and Officiating and the OHSAA’s football administrator. “At the sub-varsity levels, there isn’t much time spent working on kickoffs, so this will help.”
For games where there are no kickoffs, the ball will be spotted on the 35-yard line to start halves and after scores. The ball will be spotted at the 50-yard line after a safety.
The final rule change that affects kicks is an added enforcement spot for penalties by the kicking team, according to the release. For example, on a kickoff that goes out of bounds, the ball can be spotted five yards from where it went out of bounds. Also, a penalty on the kicking team during a punt can be enforced from the end of the play.
The high school football preseason will begin July 31.
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