08/05/13 – Reminder about Approved Football Experimental Playing Rule

August 5, 2013 Football Blog Updates

For the 2013 playing season (and possibly beyond), the KHSAA is conducted an approved experiment with the NFHS playing rules dealing with the formation of the kicking team on a free kick (kick-off).

DESCRIPTION OF MODIFICATION: Add to end of 6-1-3. After the ball is marked ready for play and until it is kicked, no member of the kicking team with the exception of the kicker may be more than five yards behind the kicking team’s free kick line.

The intent of this change is to hopefully slow down the acceleration of the kicking team members and reduce some of the collision involved with the full-speed kicking team member collides with the somewhat stationary receiving team member in an attempt to reduce opportunity for injury and minimize risk. The penalty would remain encroachment (as 6-1-3 is now), and would be a dead ball foul, killing the kick immediately to prevent potentially hazardous contact.

Here are the key provisions dealing with the rule – 

  • Each time the rule is applied, freshman, JV or varsity, officials are to complete a report at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KHSAAFreeKickExperiment;
  • The rule experiment applies at all levels of high school play (varsity, junior varsity and freshman) and at all other games in Kentucky using NFHS playing rules; 
  • The penalty is a dead ball foul, killing he play clock and being enforced without a kick being made;
  • If any part of a member of the body of a member of the kicking team is TOUCHING BEHIND the five-yard mark, it is a foul. i.e., the kick is being made from the 40, therefore no part of any kicking team member’s body (other than the kicker) may be touching behind the K35 or it is a foul;
  • If trickery is used (i.e. a person outside of the 5 yard area acts as a kicker, but someone else kicks), only the actual kicker is permitted to have been outside the five yard area. i.e. Free kick from the 30, K1 lines up at the 30 and begins his approach. During the play, K1 now stops and K2 kicks an onside kick. Dead ball foul immediately as K1 was not the kicker but had been outside of the five yard area after the ready for play;
  • Kicking team members do not have to be stationary, those rules are unaffected;
  • If out of state teams are involved in games in Kentucky, the rule DOES apply as this is an approved NFHS experiment. Officials should be sure to inform and discuss the rule with the visiting coaches;
  • A survey will  be taken of the coaches following the season to gather data as to the success or failure of the experiment.

Thank you and be sure and advise the KHSAA via jtackett@khsaa.org if any problems are observed.

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