NFHS is changing high school football’s offensive penalty rules


The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) changed its high school football rules for the 2023-24 season, the committee announced, to eliminate excessive penalties for offensive fouls that occur behind the line of scrimmage in games.

The new revision states that the fundamental point for enforcing fouls behind the line of scrimmage is the previous point of the ball, not the point of the foul.

For example, if a team is on their own 40 yard line and commits a holding penalty at their own 30, the next line of scrimmage would be at the 30 yard line for a 10 yard penalty from the previous spot, not 10 additional yards from the 30-yard line where the penalty was committed.

The goal, according to the NFHS, is to not unduly penalize teams that make mistakes on offense and to make games more efficient for umpires.

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“This is an excellent rule change that was requested by a majority of game officials and coaches and which our members of the NFHS Football Rules Committee unanimously approved,” said Richard McWhirter, Chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee. “I believe this change will make the rule clearer for coaches and easier for match officials to use.”

soft ball

Eagles split pair

Flagstaff played two short games — five and four innings respectively — at Friday’s Desert Mountain Softball Tournament in Scottsdale. The Eagles split the two exhibition competitions.

The Eagles started with a 4-0 loss to Horizon. They couldn’t get past the solid pitching of the Huskies’ senior Jenna Austin, who pitched all five innings and gave up just three hits.

Senior Reese Elliott hit a double in her appearance as the only teller, but the Eagles couldn’t score any runs.

Flagstaff was much better on the plate in the second game, defeating Vista Grande 5-2. Going 1-2 in the fourth inning, the Eagles lost four goals to win.

Junior Olivia Lanssens went 3 for 3 at the plate with two RBIs. Senior Danica Wilson also picked up two RBIs, going 2 for 3.

Freshman Cailee Culwell pitched all four innings, giving up just two runs and knocking out five batters.

The Eagles (3-0, 0-0 Grand Canyon) will visit Greenway in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Tiger 9, Panther 6

Coconino fell to 5A Conference Power Millennium in an exhibition game at Buckeye on Saturday.

The Panthers gave up five runs in the first inning and caught up at the lead in the third inning, but gave up three more and never quite got over the hump.

Aryanna Dominguez and Alyssa Fockler both showed solid offensive plays, each going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. KodyLynn Watson went 2 for 4 with a triple and a double and hit two runs.

The Panthers (3-0, 0-0 Grand Canyon) host Prescott in a region opener on Tuesday.

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