New High School Rule Changes 2020-2021

There have been recent new rule changes for high school Basketball, Wrestling, and Swimming/Diving, which will go into effect beginning next year. Here are the latest updates:

High School Basketball

Rule 5-4-1 states that a game is declared a forfeit if a coach is removed from the contest for unsporting conduct and no authorized school personnel are present to assume responsibility of the team.

Rule 10-6-1 clarifies that an official is not required to provide a warning to a coach before a technical foul is given.

Rule 2-12-5 addressed a timer’s responsibilities when a player is disqualified or injured. A warning signal is sounded to begin a 15-second interval to replace a disqualified or injured player. A second warning signal was added when the 15 seconds expire to prepare teams for the resumption of play.

High School Wrestling

Rule 4, Section 5 (Weighing-In) was altered. Following an amendment to the legal uniform laid out in Rule 4-1-1c, which now permits female wrestlers to wear a form-fitted compression shirt in addition to a one-piece singlet and a suitable undergarment, Rule 4-5-7 was rewritten to require that a legal uniform be worn during weigh-in and that no additional weight allowance be granted. An additional clause prohibiting shoes and ear guards during weigh-in was also written into 4-5-7.  

Rules 4-5-1, 4-5-2 and 4-5-4. With the institution of the legal uniform (one-piece singlet or two-piece), male and female wrestlers are now able to weigh-in together in the same line-up. Additionally, the form-fitted compression shirt offers females a more suitable uniform for post-weigh-in skin checks.

Rule 4-2-1. The hair-length restriction has been removed, the requirement that hair control devices/treatment items cannot be hard, abrasive or sharp. If a hair cover is used, it shall be attached to the ear guards. Additionally, the barring of oils, or greasy substances on or in the hair is still in effect.

Rule 4-1-3. A technical violation will be assessed in any instance where a shoe comes off, and the injury clock will be started to correct the situation. 

Rule 7-3-1. Wording was added declaring that points will not be awarded to a wrestler whose opponent has fled the mat if that wrestler has already scored for a near-fall or takedown.

Rule 8-1-4. A match will now automatically be stopped and restarted in the event a wrestler commits a fourth stalling violation.

Rule 5-29-1. This rule was edited to include “pulling an opponent’s hair” as an additional example of an offense.

Rule 8-2-9 If the referee determines a wrestler would have scored had the injury time-out not taken place, the injured contestant will be charged an injury time-out and applicable points will be awarded to the non-injured party.  

High School Swimming /Diving

Rule 1-1-1 was edited to define the end wall. The new definition broadens the term to include “the vertical portion of the pool, contiguous surface of the deck and overflow gutter, the front of the starting block or platform, or the touchpad at the end of the course.”

Rule 6-3-2 specifies acceptable methods for measuring “official” times. When a legal touch is made with the end wall to signify a legal finish, buttons and/or stopwatches, which are commonly used for backup timing, are now explicitly listed as alternatives to touchpads.

Rule 6-3-4. Whereas official times could previously only be taken from backup mechanisms in the event of a malfunction to the automatic timing equipment, the rule’s new language was written to incorporate all other instances where an official time is not properly recorded.

Rules 1-4-5 and 1-4-6. New articles were added to differentiate the terms diving “round” from diving “session”. A diving session refers to one of the various levels – preliminary, semi-final and final – within an 11-dive competition, while a diving round is the completion of one dive by each participant. Additionally, divers are now permitted to practice in between diving sessions at the discretion of meet management.

Rules 3-3-3 and 3-3-4c. Alterations were made to the uniform code regarding accepted and prohibited manufacturers’ logos. In addition to the mark signifying approval from the international governing body for aquatic sports, FINA, the USA Swimming checkmark logo is now considered an acceptable suit marking.

Rules 9-3-3 and 9-3-5. Headings were added to help explain the two-step process for entering divers at championship meets. The process includes entering the divers and swimmers’ first and last names, events and school affiliations onto an official team entry document, and then submitting the document at the time and place specified by the meet manager. Subsequently, divers will submit a scoresheet/dive list to complete the process of their entry into the diving event.

For further information please visit the NFHS website at

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