Big changes coming to NJ high school hoops, as NFHS adopts bonus, foul shot changes for 2023-24

Rutgers Prep senior Katie Ledden puts up a free throw against Morris Catholic in the Non-Public Group B Final at Toms River’s RWJBranabas Health Arena on March 5, 2023. (Photo: Raj Shah)

The NFHS – which makes rules for high school sports typically followed by the NJSIAA – has adopted two major rule changes for high school basketball that will go into effect this coming school year.

The changes were recently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors, after getting the OK from the Basketball Rules Committee at its annual meeting in Indianapolis back in April. NJSIAA Basketball Director Al Stumpf confirmed the NJSIAA will adhere to the changes.

A change to rule 4-8-1 eliminates the one-and-one foul set in the bonus situation, and will set new parameters for the bonus. Instead of the seventh foul each half being a one-and-one and the tenth foul being a two-shot situation, all shooting fouls after the fifth in each quarter will be two-shot situations.

In a press release, NFHS Director of Sports and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee Lindsay Atkinson said, “The rules committee studied data that showed higher injury rates on rebounding situations and saw this as an opportunity to reduce opportunities for rough play during rebounds.”

Atkinson also said, resetting the fouls each quarter will improve game flow and allow teams to adjust their play by not carrying foul totals to quarters two and four.”

No changes were made to the amount of personal fouls allowed before a player fouls out of the game; that will remain at five.

The move mirrors women’s NCAA basketball’s rules since it moved from playing two halves to two quarters for the 2015-16 season.

Other minor rule changes include:

  • Simplifying the location for throw-ins by the offensive team in the frontcourt when the defense commits a violation to three feet on either side of the lane or the hash marks on the sidelines, whichever location is closest to the violation.
  • Designating the scorer’s table as the official placement of the shot clock operator for states that use it; New Jersey does not.
  • Clarifying that teams may use multiple styles of uniform bottoms, but they must be like-colored and adhere to existing uniform rules
  • Allowing teams to wear a single solid color or solid black undershirt in order to achieve uniformity for schools with hard-to-find colors
  • Allowing a player to “step out of bounds and return to the court if the player gains no advantage. A player is penalized only if, after returning inbounds, the player is the first to touch the ball or avoids a violation.”

For the full NFHS rule changes, click here.

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