The Sideline – February 17

Football rule change focuses on injury risk

In its ongoing effort to minimize the risk of injury in high school football, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee has expanded the provisions of unnecessary roughness to include contact with a defenseless player.

The revised rule now reads, “No player or non-player shall make any contact with an opponent, including a defenseless player, which is deemed unnecessary or excessive and which incites roughness.”

Bob Colgate, director of sports and sports medicine at the NFHS and editor of the NFHS football rules, noted that an example would be when a defensive player who is not in the vicinity of the ball is “blindsided” by a blocker on the offensive team.

In another change, beginning next season, an automatic first down will not be awarded for a 5-yard incidental face mask penalty against the passer. Previously, this violation was included in the penalty for roughing the passer, which calls for a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.

Substitutions in high school soccer will now be permitted during a stoppage of play when bench personnel are cautioned or disqualified.

Substitutes from both teams who have already reported may be beckoned by the referee and may enter when the clock is stopped for a caution or disqualification of bench personnel. The other opportunities for substitutions by players on either team who have reported include goal kick, player yellow card and player red card.


Baseball, softball sign-ups underway

Baseball players ages 4 to 18 and softball players between the ages of 4 and 13 are invited to register online through Monday for the New Palestine Youth League at

For more information, email

The Eastern Hancock Youth Baseball Program for Eastern Hancock School Corporation boys and girls has opened registration in the 6U, 9U and 12U leagues.

Register with Lorrie Edwards in the Eastern Hancock High School athletics office. Cost is $50 per player. Volunteers for coaching and umpiring also are sought.

For more information, contact Stu Fisher at

Registration for the Greenfield Youth Baseball Association Recreational League will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and Feb. 28, at the Riley Park concession stand, 810 E. Lincoln St. The league is for boys ages 5 to 16. Practices begin in late March, with games beginning April 18 and continuing through June.


Cougars schedulepractice events

Volleyball weightlifting for Greenfield-Central players in Grades 8 to 11 will begin March 2 (Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m.) in the high school weight room.

Greenfield-Central cheerleading open practice for Grades 9 to 12 is Feb. 23, March 2 and March 9 in the Cheer Loft from 6 to 8 p.m. A mandatory cheer parent meeting will be conducted at 6:30 p.m. March 11 in the Cougar Meeting Room. Clinics are March 17 (6 to 8 p.m.) and March 19 (6 to 8 p.m.), with cheer tryouts at 4 p.m. March 20.


Prep schedule


Boys basketball: Eastern Hancock at Edinburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Gymnastics: Franklin Central at New Palestine, 6 p.m.