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Guido: A few rules altered for basketball season

| Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, 11:18 p.m.

National rulesmakers have cut down the time to replace a player who has fouled out or injured from 20 seconds to 15.

That measure is among the rules changes that will go into effect for the upcoming high school basketball season.

The National Federation of State High School Associations said it wants to eliminate what it calls “gamesmanship” by coaches who were using the 20 seconds as a virtual time out.

A horn will sound to start the 15-second cycle to replace a “disqualified or injured player, or a player directed to leave the game.”

Another change prohibits non-playing personnel such as “spirit participants” — called cheerleaders by you and I — shall remain outside of the playing area during a 30-second timeout or less during a game. That also goes for the media, particularly TV reporters who will do a stand-up report on the floor during a time out.

Undershirts shall be a single color similar to the torso of the jersey “and shall be hemmed and not have frayed or ragged edges.”

Technical fouls have also been clarified.

If an “administrative technical” is assessed, including roster changes in the score book, more than five players on the floor at one time or a violation of a team warning for a delay, the head coach still will be permitted to stand in the coach's box.

A coach, however, called for a “bench technical” for items such as “unsporting behavior,” has to remain seated for the rest of the game.

An interesting bit of criteria put out by the NFHS is the fact that if a player is whistled for a technical for grasping the rim, the coach also has to sit for the remainder of the game.

Wrestling rule changes

The near fall rule and the potentially dangerous rule both have been changed and clarified for the upcoming scholastic wrestling season.

The NFHS said that when a defensive wrestler commits a technical violation, applies an illegal hold or maneuver, commits unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike act (such as eye-gouging) in an imminent or near fall situation, the offensive wrestler shall be awarded two (2) penalty points in addition to the singular near fall point.

Also, a potentially dangerous hold occurs when a wrestler, from a standing position, is placed in a body lock with one or both arms trapped and then is lifted and is unable to use his arm or arms to break the fall.

Other holds and maneuvers deemed dangerous enough to cause an injury may be stopped by an official.

West Virginia streak ends

Bridgeport (West Va.) High School's 38-game unbeaten streak was halted last Friday in the state semifinals.

Fairmont scored in the second overtime via a 41-yard touchdown pass on a second-and-31 situation. Fairmont then went for the two-point conversion and won it 22-21.

Bridgeport's streak was labeled an undefeated streak and not a winning streak.

That's because a 2015 game that was scoreless in the first quarter was delayed by lightning and never completed.

The West Virginia Secondary School Athletics Commission — the Mountain State's equivalent of the PIAA — ruled it a 1-1 tie.

Currently, the nation's longest winning streak belongs to Kimberly (Wis.) High School at 56 in a row.

The longest Pennsylvania streak right now belongs to Bishop Guilfoyle, with 45 wins in a row.

Guilfoyle is nowhere near Clairton's record streak of 66 straight, however.

But if Bishop Guilfoyle defeats Steelton-Highspire Friday and Clairton beats Farrell, Guilfoyle and Clairton will meet for the Class A state title at 1 p.m. Dec. 9 at Hersheypark Stadium.

George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.

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