New Rules Approved to Minimize Injury to High School Football Players

A forum on preventing football head injuries hosted by State Rep. Carole Sente will be held at Vernon Hills High School on Monday, Feb. 25.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently approved new rules for the 2013 football season in an effort to minimize player injuries related to helmets coming off during games.

As a follow-up to last year’s rules change requiring players to sit out one play if their helmet comes off while the ball is live, the NFHS Football Rules Committee approved three additional rules that are extensions of that change.

  • An illegal personal contact foul was added to Rule 9-4-3 to state that “no player or nonplayer shall initiate contact with an opposing player whose helmet has come completely off.”
  • In addition, a new listing in Rule 9-6-4 will state that it is illegal participation “for a player whose helmet comes completely off during a down to continue to participate beyond the immediate action in which the player is engaged.”
  • The committee also added language to Rule 3-5-10 to clarify that if the helmet comes completely off during the down or subsequent dead-ball action related to the down – and is not directly attributable to a foul by the opponent – the player must leave the game for at least one down, with the exception of halftime or overtime intermission. When this occurs, an official’s time-out shall be called.

“Player safety has been and will continue to be the top priority for members of the NFHS Football Rules Committee,” said Brad Garrett, chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and assistant executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association. “These rules changes regarding helmet-less players are more examples of the group’s commitment to minimize risk within the game.”

For more information, visit www.nfhs.org.

President Obama has also weighed in on football head injuries in light of the revelation that NFL player Junor Seau, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest last May, was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Last month, Seau's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL, reported ESPN.

"Those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence," said Obama, as reported by the Huffington Post.

Forum on preventing football head injuries

In response to increasing awareness of the dangers of concussions and brain injuries triggered by school sports, State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills), will host a forum on preventing football head injuries from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25 at Vernon Hills High School, 145 Lakeview Parkway.

“The Illinois General Assembly passed landmark concussion legislation two years ago,” said Sente. “While that bill was a strong starting point, I believe there is much more we need to do to prevent temporary and permanent brain injuries in our young athletes.

Opinions and viewpoints expressed during the forum will help Sente decide how she will support legislation. For more information, call (847) 478-9909.

Sente's Hearing to Address Youth Football Safety Topics

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