HomeBasketballNFHS approves major high school basketball rules change for free throws

NFHS approves major high school basketball rules change for free throws

A fairly major rules change is coming to high school basketball, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) announced Monday.

Among the list of rules changes that will go into effect for the 2023-2024 season is a change to the way free throws are awarded when teams are “in the bonus.” 

Gone will be the one-and-one free throw situation that has long been used in high school and college. Instead, teams will shoot two free throws for every common foul that occurs once they have reached the bonus.

Additionally, teams will reach the bonus once their opponent has committed five common fouls in each quarter. Team foul counts will reset after each quarter rather than at halftime. 

Currently, teams shoot one-and-one after the seventh foul of the half, and two shots after the 10th foul of the half. Under the new rules, teams will shoot two free throws after the fifth foul of each quarter.

The new rules will make bonus free throw shooting in high school much more like the NBA, which likewise awards teams two free throws after their opponent’s fifth team foul of each quarter.

The NFHS said that the rules change is intended to make the game safer and improve the flow of games.

“The rules committee studied data that showed higher injury rates on rebounding situations and saw this as an opportunity to reduce opportunities for rough play during rebounds,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports. “Additionally, resetting the fouls each quarter will improve game flow and allow teams to adjust their play by not carrying foul totals to quarters two and four.” 

Another rules change simplifies where the ball is thrown in-bounds after a dead ball situation. Unless the defensive team caused the ball to be out of bounds — in which case the throw-in spot will be wherever the ball went out of bounds — a throw-in after a dead ball will take place at one of four places on the court: the nearest 28-foot mark along the sideline or the nearest spot three feet outside the lane along the baseline.

Other rules changes involved uniform colors.

High school sports are played under rules set by the NFHS so that there are uniform rules from state to state.

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