High Schools

High schools strengthen football helmet rule

tstevens@newsobserver.comFebruary 8, 2013 

The National Federation of State High School Associations expanded its rules this week concerning football helmets coming off during play.

Any player whose helmet comes off during play must leave the game for at least one play under the rule that was adopted for the 2013 season.

Any player who loses his helmet during a live ball situation cannot continue to participate and no player may hit a player whose helmet is completely off.

If a ball carrier loses his helmet, the play stops.

The penalty for participating without a helmet is a live ball foul and in some cases could be a flagrant foul.

“This is just continuing the process we started to ensure the safety of our players,” said Mark Dreibelbis, an assistant commissioner of the N.C. High School Athletic Association. “Wearing a properly fitted helmet is one of the keys to protecting the head.”

Two years ago, the NCHSAA conducted the first comprehensive study of helmets coming off during high school competition and the study was a factor in the Federation adopting its previous helmet rule.

Soccer electronics: The Federation also changed the rule prohibiting soccer coaches from using electronic devises on the sidelines. Soccer coaches will be allowed to record action and review the images on the sidelines for instruction.

The previous rule banned all electronic devises from the sidelines, including cell phones.

Norris gets 500th win: Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris became the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s all-time leader in volleyball coaching victories last season. On Tuesday night, she recorded her 500th girls basketball win to go with her more than 700 volleyball wins.

Norris’ Tigers beat Southern Vance 57-37 for the milestone.

1,000 points: Broughton guard Devonte’ Graham, an Appalachian State recruit, scored his 1,000th career point Tuesday in a 60-53 victory over Enloe. Graham is averaging 13.9 points in the Caps’ balanced attack.

Indoor track: The NCHSAA state track championships are scheduled for Saturday at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem.

The 1A/2A/3A championships begin at 9 a.m. The 4A championships start at 4 p.m.

Knightdale and Southeast Guilford tied for the boys’ 4A championship in 2012 and the Wakefield girls took the 4A girls title. Cardinal Gibbons was the 1A/2A/3A boys winner and Burlington Cummings won the girls title.

Rankings can be deceiving: On football signing day in 2008, Houston Stratford quarterback Andrew Luck was ranked as the No. 68 prospect in the country by rivals.com. He was the No. 4 pro-style quarterback prospect in the country and the No. 9 prospect in Texas.

N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon was No. 59 on the national list.

But before you scoff at the rankings’ irrelevancy, note that the top five players in 2008 were Terrelle Pryor (QB, Oakland Raiders), DaQuan Bowers (DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Mike Adams (OL, Pittsburgh Steelers), Julio Jones (WR, Atlanta Falcons), and Patrick Johnson (DB, now Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals).

Online: The News & Observer’s high school basketball standings, results, box scores and scoring leaders are not available online temporary. The N&O introduced a new website design this week and elements still are being added.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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