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OHSAA changing basketball free throw rules; revising bylaws


XENIA — The OHSAA announced several rule changes for boys and girls high school basketball starting in the winter 2023-24 season, one of which involves significant changes to free throw procedures.

Games will remove the “one-and-one” bonus scenario and only shoot two free throws with new foul limits starting next season.

Teams will reach the bonus in each quarter when their opponent commits five total common fouls and the total will reset at the start of each quarter, no longer using the one-and-one bonus at seven fouls or the double-bonus at 10 fouls in a single half.

The changes will reflect the style used at the professional level, notably in the NBA and WNBA, after the high school model had previously gone with one similar to the collegiate level used in the NCAA.

The rule change is one of several Ohio is adopting that were approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee during its April meeting.

“The rules committee studied data that showed higher injury rates on rebounding situations and saw this as an opportunity to reduce opportunities for rough play during rebounds,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee, in the OHSAA press release. “Additionally, resetting the fouls each quarter will improve game flow and allow teams to adjust their play by not carrying foul totals to quarters two and four.”

Other changes include the usage of four specific inbounding locations after a defensive foul, allowing officials to fix errors in awarding throw-ins to the wrong team before the next dead ball occurs, and allowing players that step out of bounds to return to the court without no violation if an advantage is not gained and they are not the first player to touch the ball.

Transfer rules altered

OHSAA member schools overwhelming passed 12 of 13 proposed revisions to its constitution and bylaws, mostly related to student-athlete transfer rules.

Issue 1B, which would have permitted a student enrolled at a public school that does not sponsor a team sport to potentially play that sport at a public school located in a bordering public school district, failed by 53 votes, the second consecutive year it did not pass.

Among the issues which did pass include additional language to clarify students being unable to transfer to avoid code of conduct violation penalties and suspensions, modifying criteria to allow seniors to return to a high school which they have always been enrolled as long as they did not play any other sports at their other school, and making rules for public and non-public schools intra-district or system regulations more consistent with one another.

A bylaw was also passed requiring schools to protect personal information of officials before and after a contest unless permission is given from the individual official.

All changes go into effect on August 1. A simple majority was needed in the casted votes by member school principals for any issue to pass.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.