High school hoops rules changes coming in 2024-25

A few changes, including clarification and a warning for flopping, are coming to high school basketball for the 2024-25 season.

The National Federation of State High School Associations, which writes the rule book for most sports and activities across the country, adopted 12 changes at its basketball rules committee meeting last month in Indianapolis — with an emphasis on keeping student-athletes safe and preserving fairness.

“The committee approved changes addressing a variety of different areas,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS director of sports. “Maintaining a focus on player safety, fairness, balance and rules that officials can effectively adjudicate continue to be the focus of the committee.”

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association, under the NFHS umbrella, announced the rule changes this week.

Faking being fouled, or “flopping,” is now defined as when a player “simulates being fouled or makes theatrical or exaggerated movements when there is no illegal contact.” Some examples include embellishing incidental contact on block/charge plays or field goal attempts, using a head snap to simulate illegal contact and generally trying to gain an advantage when there’s no legitimate foul.

Officials will issue a team warning to the bench on the first instance. The warning is recorded in the scorebook and reported to the head coach, and any subsequent offenses will result in a team technical foul.

“(The committee) is hoping to get those dishonest acts out of the game,” said Billy Strickland, the executive director of the Alaska School Activities Association and chair of the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee.

Other rules changes that could affect Kentucky high school basketball include removing the restriction of only lettering being allowed on the front of jerseys. Now, teams can have their school logo or mascot above their jersey numbers, if they so choose. Officials can also now continue play when nets are touched under the basket, as long as the contact doesn’t affect the shot attempt. Referees can also issue team warnings and subsequent team technical fouls for delay-of-game penalties.

The rules changes also affect pre-game and dead-ball activities, specifically the penalties incurred from dunking the ball. Coaches won’t lose coaching box privileges, and it will now be awarded as a team technical.

According to the 2022-23 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, basketball is the third-most popular sport for boys with 537,438 participants in 18,369 schools, and the fourth-most popular sport for girls with 373,366 participants in 17,881 schools.