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02/12/22- Hair Adornment Adjustments, Addition of Team Time-Out Highlight 2022 High School Field Hockey Rules Changes

February 12, 2022 2021-2022 News Releases

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 11, 2022) — High school field hockey players may now wear adornments in the hair that do not present a risk to themselves, teammates or opponents beginning with the 2022 season. Previously, hair adornments were limited to that of a soft material.

The change to hair adornments was one of six rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Field Hockey Rules Committee at its meeting January 17-19 in Indianapolis and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“The NFHS and the Field Hockey Rules Committee want to support diversity and ensure that all competitors are welcomed in the sport of field hockey,” said Julie Cochran, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the NFHS Field Hockey Rules Committee. “The rules committee wants to continue to minimize the risk of injury while also recognizing the importance of a high school student’s personal expression of their identity.”

The addition of Rule 4-1-3 permits each team to request one 90-second time-out per game. The time-out can only be requested and granted at a stoppage of play when the requesting team has possession of the ball, or after a goal has been scored by either team. The lone exception is the team time-out cannot be used between quarters.

“Before we went to quarter play, teams were allowed a time-out,” said Anna Saccoccio, chair of the NFHS Field Hockey Rules Committee. “With a time-out, coaches have a chance to instruct their players or calm them down.”

Additional changes to Rule 1 modify the penalty for a field player or goalkeeper who is wearing an illegal uniform, wearing/using illegal equipment or removing or not wearing/using required equipment. For this violation, the player will now be assessed a misconduct penalty where previously the head coach was penalized.

“We felt that it is the player’s responsibility once it reaches a certain point,” Saccoccio said. “Now, the penalty will go to the player for the infraction.”

An adjustment to the penalty for Rule 10-3 provides procedures for officials to follow on a penalty corner before allowing the insertion. In addition, the inserter cannot have both feet in the field of play at the time of the insertion.

Rule 3 was amended to simplify the language used to define a sweep clarifying that either edge or the flat side of the stick on both the forehand and backhand can be used when a sweep is attempted.

Finally, a change to Rule 3-2-4 was made to clarify that a 25-yard hit is not a free hit as a consequence of a foul even though it is taken just like a free hit.

A complete listing of the field hockey rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Field Hockey.”  

Sixteen NFHS member state associations conduct state championships in field hockey, a sport that includes 60,824 participants in 1,768 schools nationwide according to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey.

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