NCHSAA adopts mercy rules in football, basketball; revises soccer OT

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By Staff Report

 Staff Report

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors approved   mercy rules in football and basketball during its spring meeting Wednesday, April 30, at the NCHSAA offices.

In football, if the point differential reaches 42 or more by halftime or thereafter, the game will resort to a running clock with timeouts after scores or when called by teams. Coaches also may end the game by mutual agreement.

In basketball, if the score reaches a 40 point-differential at halftime or thereafter, the game will resort to a running clock, including administration of free throws or all other dead ball situations, except for timeouts called by coach.

The board also approved a two-year pilot program in basketball to assess an administrative technical foul to the offending team for non-compliance with the uniform rule code. In the second year, the referee will assess a technical foul to the head coach.

In soccer, conferences may have shootouts in regular season soccer games after the two 10-minute overtime periods.

The board approved this process for athletes ejected or disqualified: “Any student-athlete who is ejected or disqualified from a contest is required to complete the NFHS sportsmanship course before being eligible to return to competition.”

Licensed athletic trainers or first responders now are required for all wrestling competitions. And the board set a $500 fine for non-compliance with the concussion management course requirement. Coaches have been required to take either the NFHS concussion course or an equivalent course.

For athletes who qualify to regional or state individual playoffs, this rule was approved: “Schools that have individuals qualifying to the regional and/or state individual playoffs, after the regular season is over for the team (for the sport of wrestling, once individual regional seeding is completed), may work out or scrimmage one-on-one against students from another school where competition is not available at their own school. The number is limited to one partner for each qualifier advancing, whether from their own school or another school.”

The board approved a 23-match regular season limitation for volleyball. Regarding the playoffs in all sports, the board approved this procedure: “Once the seeding process is completed and the brackets have been finalized, no other team or individual will be substituted in or added to the brackets as a result of a change in the reported record (incorrect or adjusted).”