Marquette, MI – August 3, 2017 – The world of sports just got safer! Contact football is a controversial topic in the world of medicine and sports. With Researchers working around the clock to prevent long term damage to players who sustain consussions.
The MHSAA (Michigan High School Athletic Association) is taking steps to keep their players safe and also appreciate the sport of football. Minor changes have been made and will be in effect this 2017-18 season.
A change to the allowable level of contact on a blindside block in football is one of the latest rules changes aimed at increasing player safety. A blindside block involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration (for example, while following a ball carrier on a kickoff return), is vulnerable to injury by a block coming from outside his field of vision. Blindside blocks now must be initiated with open hands only; blindside contact that is forceful and initiated with other parts of the body outside of the free blocking zone will be penalized as excessive and unnecessary.
In addition to redefining the blindside block, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) sought to also minimize risk by eliminating the pop-up kick – that is, any free kick during which the kicker drives the ball immediately to the ground, causing it to bounce only once and into the air similar to the flight of a ball kicked directly off the tee. Kicks off a tee that bounce multiple times and then pop into the air remain allowed.
A few other notable rules changes in football will be apparent this fall:
- A defensive player will be called for encroachment for striking the offensive snapper’s hand or arm, or the ball, prior to the snapper releasing the ball to begin a play.
- Non-contact face guarding is no longer considered pass interference.
- A team accepting a penalty during the final two minutes of either half now will have the option of re-starting the clock at the snap of the ball rather than the referee’s ready-for-play signal.
With the MHSAA making these changes we hope that the Negaunee Miners will be heading home injury free.
This information comes from Geoff Kimmerly the Media Content Coordinator of the MHSAA.