2013 FHSAA Leadership Conference
In attendance at the 2013 FHSAA Leadership Conference were LeRonnie Mason (V.P.), Jeffrey Geller (Sec.), and Johnny-Boy Davis. The following is a synopsis of the pertinent information disclosed thereat:
A. General Official Information / Open Forum Issues:
1. School Black-Outs Revised - FHSAA has revised the black-out (kids/officials prior school) from 7 down to 4 years; however, Associations are still able to be more restrictive if they so choose.
2. FHSAA Game Fees - FHSAA may increase game fees in 2014 by $5.00.
3. FHSAA Registration Fees - FHSAA will be increasing the registration fee this year by $3.00 to cover increased insurance costs. Of note, the FHSAA insurance covers officials not only in sponsored school activities, but also in any youth or other organized sporting activity.
4. House Bill 21 - State has standardized the Jessica Lunsford Act Badge (effective July 1, 2013) so it will be consistent throughout the State of Florida. Not sure yet of resulting changes in procedure and prices.
5. Concussions - FHSAA does not want officials using the word "concussion" when speaking with coaches. They would prefer that the official simply ask the coach to remove his player and evaluate his players' health.
B. Football Breakout Seminar Rules Changes:
1. Helmet Rule (3-5-10d; 9-4-3l; 9-6-4g) -
a. FHSAA will communicate to coaches that this is a teaching moment - new rule requires both sides to "disengage" once helmet comes off; if they don't and continue to engage, penalty should be called (if necessary, double foul for both players failing to disengage).
b. Once helmet comes off, must "stop" playing; if continues (even with no contact), call the penalty.
c. If player puts helmet back on, he may then participate; however, he still must come out the next play for his helmet coming off.
d. Penalty on A is "illegal participation"; penalty on B is "personal contact foul" (both 15-yards).
2. Gloves (1-512b) - Must have NOCSAE label on outside (unless unaltered cloth)
3. OPI/DPI (7-5-10) - No automatic first down or loss of down; simply 15 yard penalty and replay down. Remember, an additional 15-yard penalty (total 30 yards) can be enforced for an "intentional" pass interference.
4. Kick Catching Interference (6-5-6) - All prior choices still in place, just adding option of 15-yard penalty from spot of awarded fair catch.
5. Kicking Neutral Zone Blocks 9-3-8c) - Once R engages to block, all K players may now engage.
6. Towels (1-5-3a(5)a) - Towels may now be solid color (with manufacturer's logo smaller than 2 1/4"), but all players must have same colored towel (not mix and match).
7. Coaches Field Equipment (1-6) - Anyone on sideline/outside the 9s may use electronic equipment; inside the 9s (on field) only coach may use.
8. Definition of Catch (2-4-1) - If a player is "carried" out of bounds after his progress is stopped inbounds, should be ruled as a completed pass at the forward progress spot.
9. Scores on Try (8-3-3) - Only A may score (eliminated old safety rule allowing B to score).
C. Football Breakout Seminar Points of Emphasis:
1. Illegal Blocking - FHSAA wants focus on lead blockers being illegally blocked by defenders; this should be called as "block below the waist".
2. Use of Play Cards (1-5-3c(8)) - Play cards may not be worn on belt, only wrist.
3. End Zone Field Markings (1-2-3h) - Logos in end-zones must be no closer than 2-feet from goal line and boundaries. FHSAA would like Game Report on non-conforming fields so they can address with school.
4. Midfield Field Markings (1-2-3l) - All fields, including turf, must have 50-yard line clearly marked through the logo(s). FHSAA would like Game Report on non-conforming fields so they can address with school.
D. Additional Football-Specific Notes:
1. Black Shoes - FHSAA stance for ongoing review/analysis of officials requires "all black" shoes; white markings on the shoes is not acceptable.
2. Sleeves - FHSAA will provide further clarification of stance on "Iverson" (unattached) sleeves with pads in them (over elbow and/or knees).
3. Possible Uniform Changes - No discussion by FHSAA concerning possible uniform changes for upcoming years.
E. ECFOA Specific Issues:
1. Mileage Issues - FHSAA may have had issues with use of Arbiter last year with mileage invoices. We need to e-mail her schools we had issues with and amounts, and she will follow-up. Also, will ensure that all Associations get same invoice as schools next year, so we know how much to expect. Mileage is supposed to be paid from "furthest away member in Association" to host school.
2. Lack of Contract - Ms. Young was unaware and very surprised that ECFOA did not have a contract with either the individual schools, the School Board, or Palm Beach County. Ms. Young indicated that FHSAA will step in, as the ECFOA should not be working without contractual protections. The FHSAA will investigate further with PBCSD and then schedule telecom with Justin (FHSAA legal) to further discuss.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any of the attendees.
Jeffrey S. Geller