2009 St. Thomas Aquinas Boys Soccer

Of all the rule changes this year there is only one that effects players directly and that is shin guards must be worn no higher than 2" above the ankle.

All other rule changes are administrative or editorial in nature.


NFHS 2009-2010 Rule Changes

In an ongoing focus on risk minimization in high school soccer, an addition to the shin guard policy has been approved.

A year after requiring shin guards to meet National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) standards, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee will now require the front of the shin guard to be permanently marked with the NOCSAE seal and height range, effective in fall 2012.

The delay in implementation is to allow manufacturers to supply these types of shin guards to retailers. There is also an emphasis on placing the shin guard no higher than two inches above the ankle to minimize risk of injury.

The revised shin guard policy was one of four rules changes approved by the Soccer Rules Committee at its January 26-28 meeting in Indianapolis. The rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“As is always the case, the Soccer Rules Committee is most concerned about minimizing the risk of injury for student-athletes,” said Mark Koski, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Soccer Rules Committee. “The requirement of the NOCSAE seal and height range on the front of the shin guard by 2012 is a good example of that. The committee wants to make sure that players are protected in the best way possible.”

 “Joint” ankle braces have made technological leaps in safety over the past decade. Because many “joint” ankle braces are designed to be worn over stockings or other material, Rule 4-2-1g has been amended to allow players to wear braces outside the stocking, provided they are not made of metal or other hazardous material. Any braces made of metal or other hazardous material must still be worn under a stocking.

“The NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommended updating this rule based on the advances made in ankle braces,” Koski said. “This change reflects our flexibility as far as the safety of the players goes.”
A change in Rule 3-1-3 will allow any member of the team to deliver the team roster to the officials at least five minutes prior to the start of the contest. Previously, the coach was required to submit the roster, but since coaches are very busy prior to the start of the game, they are now allowed to delegate the task.

The final change requires that the officials must be dressed in matching uniforms distinctly different from only the field players of both teams. This permits the referee to possibly wear a shirt similar to one of the goalkeepers’ shirts, as long as it’s unlike the field players’ uniforms.

In addition to the rules changes, points of emphasis for the 2009-10 season include unconscious player, NFHS Code of Ethics, NFHS Soccer Signals, ball holders, team areas, ankle braces and shin guard placement.
Soccer is the fifth-most popular sport for boys and girls at the high school level. According to the 2007-08 High School Athletics Participation Survey, 383,561 boys are involved in soccer and 346,545 girls participate in the sport.

Points of Emphasis:

Unconscious Player- If the player is determined to be unconscious or apparently unconscious by game officials, the player cannot return to the game until written authorization by a physician is presented.

Ankle Braces-Technological advances in “joint” braces have made them safer over the past decade.  A player may wear an ankle brace over the sock providing there is no exposed metal or unyielding material.

Shin guard Placement-Shin guards need to be placed no higher than 2 inches above the ankle for safety purposes.

NFHS Code of Ethics - Coaches and officials should read the NFHS Code of Ethics and incorporate them into their game preparations.


NFHS Soccer Signals - Officials in the course of enforcing the rules of play need to properly and consistently use the NFHS Official Soccer Signals.


Ball Holders - At least 2 ball holders should be provided by the home team to prevent delays.  Ball holders are under the direct supervision of the official(s).


Team Areas - The team areas shall be at least 10 feet from the touchline and extend 10 yards on each side of the halfway line, for a distance of 20 yards.  When placed on opposite sides, each team area shall be placed diagonally across from each other.


Click here to down load complete list of all rule changes to NFHS Booklet (4 page .pdf)

   2009 Schedule on HighSchoolSports.net  

Team History - Honors & Awards      2009 Team Page


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