INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Clarifying when and how coaches can communicate with players highlighted the high school soccer rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee at its January 21-23 meeting in Indianapolis. These changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. In total, seven rule changes were approved for the upcoming season.
The new rule will permit coaches and players to communicate during stoppages of play due to injury, though medical personnel or coaches must still receive permission from the official to come onto the field. Previously teams were prohibited from huddle and communicating with coaches after medical personnel or coaches came on the field to tend to an injured player. New rules will also allow coaches to use electronic devices on the sidelines during games, as long as they are not used to communicate with players on the field.
Other changes involve the issue of cards on a foul to disrupt a clear goal-scoring opportunity, the mechanics of players checking into the game after goals or injury stoppages, issues involving tape on uniform socks, and a clarification of the definition of a “free kick.”