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Free throw, contact rules get revisions

IRON RIVER—Fans of high school basketball will see some new rules in effect when the new season starts in December.
    The rules affect free throws, illegal contact on the player with the ball, intentional fouls and arm and leg sleeves.
    The rules were approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations last spring and subsequently approved by state associations, including Michigan.
    Free throws: This essentially reverses the free throw rule that required high school players not to move from their places along the free throw lane until the ball touches the rim. Starting this year, those six players stationed along the lane (two from the shooter’s team, four from the non-shooter’s team) can enter the free throw lane as soon as the shooter releases the ball.
    This does not affect the free throw shooter or the other three players. They still have to wait until the ball hits the rim or backboard before they enter the free throw lane.
    The thinking behind the change is that officials will be better able to watch for violations and fouls during free throws if they don’t also have to watch to see if anyone enters the free throw lane too early.
    Illegal contact: This rule affects players who cover the person with the ball. Starting this year, they may not (A) place two hands on the player; (B) put an extended arm bar on them; (C) place and keep a hand on them; or (D) contact them more than once, either with the same hand or alternating hands. If they do, it’s a foul.
    Officials have been trying to deal with hand-checking and other tactics used by defenders on the ball-handler/dribbler. This is a habit that defenders may have a hard time breaking.
    yers no longer need medical verification if they use arm or leg compression sleeves.

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