MANUALS: BASEBALL

REGULAR SEASON

2022 Baseball

Manuals provide the most up to date policies, rules, and regulations for Iowa High School Athletic Association sports in the regular season and postseason. Member school athletic directors and head coaches seeking more information or clarifications on the contents of this manual should contact the IHSAA sport administrator for this sport: . All other inquiries should be directed through athletic directors or coaches at member schools or host schools. 

All the rules and regulations governing this sport can be found in the annual NFHS Rule Book, which all member schools receive from the IHSAA, excepting updates or experiments approved by the Board of Control.

For more information on concussions or sport safety, please visit the Health & Safety resource page. 

To search this manual, click a topic header from the Index above or select Find (Ctrl + F) from your keyboard.

Classifications

School enrollment numbers from each year inform the following school year’s classifications for IHSAA sanctioned sports. For football only, these numbers are used for two-year cycles. Enrollment numbers are provided by the Basic Educational Data Survey (BEDS) from the Iowa Department of Education. To view other sports or overall BEDS numbers, view the Classifications page.

4A: Largest 48 schools

3A: Next largest 64 schools

2A: Next largest 96 schools

1A: Remaining schools

Rules Information

Courtesy Runner

The Iowa High School Athletic Association has adopted the following suggested speed-up rules found in the National Federation Rule Book.

RUNNERS: The team at bat may use a courtesy runner for the pitcher and/or catcher as soon as they get on base or anytime while on base. The same runner may not be used for both positions. Neither the pitcher nor the catcher will be required to leave the game under such circumstances. NOTE: The courtesy runner is running for the position, not the player.

At any time, the team at bat may use a courtesy runner for the pitcher and/or the catcher.

Players who have participated in the game in any other capacity are ineligible to serve as courtesy runners.

A player may not run as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or the catcher and then be used as a runner or batter for another player in the same half inning.

If a coach uses a courtesy runner he must always run for the same position when used, either pitcher or catcher.

If Jimmy Jones courtesy runs for the pitcher’s position, that’s the only position he can courtesy run for in that game.

In the event that the offensive team bats around, the pitcher and/or catcher who had a courtesy runner inserted  on their behalf may bat in their normal position in the batting order.

Per NFHS rules, the pitcher or catcher have never left the line-up. Always remember the courtesy runner is running for the position, not the player.

An individual’s game limitation rule would not be affected if the player is used only as a courtesy runner: The player limitation rule for any individual who serves in the capacity of a courtesy runner only and is not used in any other capacity during the game, does not count as one of his 40 games.

Spring Batting Practice

Each program (9-12) is allowed 15 total days of hitting practice starting the Monday of Week 35 (February 28, 2022) to the first day of practice. Regardless if one student shows up or 100 students, it is a team limitation and not an individual limitation. Each coach will determine the hitting progression for his program. Each hitting session shall not be longer than one, continuous, 3-hour maximum time-period. These sessions are meant for hitting instruction. No base running or fielding drills are to be done during these sessions. Students can field batted ball and throw balls back to the pitching area; however, throws across the infield are not to occur. Hitting instruction can take place either indoors or outdoors. Students can only throw to batters from a flat surface behind an L-screen in a cage or in a soft-toss hitting drill. Pitchers and catchers can use this time as their contact period, but pitchers cannot throw to batters from the mound during these workout sessions.

Out of Season Pitching Workouts

Pitchers and catchers may voluntarily practice on your own facility under a coach’s supervision from January 1 through September 30 using equipment required for these two positions only. No batting practice, no hitting of ground balls, no position coverage and no drills may be performed by pitchers or catchers. Pitchers and catchers may stretch, run and play catch (short and long distance). NOTE: Outside of the fifteen days in the spring through the first day of fall practice, no other players can be in the facility hitting or playing catch except for pitchers and catchers as this is the only time a coach can provide instruction until the first legal practice date. The new contact rule specifies no instruction can be provided when players are on your school facility and hitting. When a coach is working with pitchers it must be in a separate room if hitting is also taking place at the same time in your school facility.

Safe-Base (Double First Base) Mandatory

The batter-runner should use the orange base on initial plays at first base, unless the fielder is drawn to the orange base (because of a dropped third strike) in which case the batter runner would go to the white base. Only on a dropped third strike may the fielder touch the orange or white base to retire a batter runner. Any other plays at first base other than a dropped third strike, the fielder must touch the white base or the runner in order to retire a batter/runner. The runner may touch the white or orange base on a dropped third strike, depending on the fielder’s coverage of first base. The fielder must use the white base to retire a batter runner, except on a dropped third strike. A batter runner is never out for touching the white base rather than the orange base, when touching first base the first time. Once the batter runner reaches first base, the batter runner must always return to the white base.

 

Suspended Games

If a game is called prior to the completion of a full inning after the fifth inning; the game becomes a suspended game in the following situation.   “The visiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the score or take the lead, and the home team has not retaken the lead.”

If a game is called for weather/darkness, where a winner cannot be determined, the game will be treated as a suspended game. All mechanical failures, regardless of which inning it occurs, will be treated as a suspended game. If the game is to be completed, it will be continued from the point of suspension with, the game will be treated as a suspended game. If the game is to be completed, it will be continued from the point of suspension with:

Lineup and batting order the same as at the moment of suspension subject to rules of game.

If a team, while on defense, has been charged two conferences, it is allowed only one more charged conference when the suspended game is continued.

If a player entered as a substitute and has been removed from the game, he cannot re-enter when the game is continued — even though played on two different days.

All playing regulations apply as if the game was continuous and being played during one day.

EXAMPLES:

End of the 6th inning, Home – 6, Visitors – 4. Visitor scores three runs in the top of the 7th inning, to take the lead 7-6, when rain comes.

RULING: Suspended game rather than reverting back to the last completed inning.

End of the 5th inning, Home – 7, Visitors – 2. Visitor score four runs in the top of the 6th inning to make the score 7-6, bases loaded, when rain comes and game cannot be completed.

RULING: Score reverts back to the 5th inning, Home – 7, Visitors – 2.

Game is called (ended) in the 3rd inning due to rain, darkness, lightning, or a combination of any.

RULING: It shall be considered a suspended game and continued from that point to a later time agreed upon by both schools involved.

Game is called (ended) in the top of the 7th inning due to a malfunction of lights or watering system with the score Home – 5, Visitors – 2. The visitors score two runs in the top of the 7th inning to make the score, Home – 5, Visitors –  4, prior to calling the game.

RULING: Suspended contest due to the mechanical failure.

In the middle of the 5th inning, Home – 6, Visitors – 4, when rain causes for a called game.

RULING: Completed game. Home team wins. The required numbers of innings have been played to meet the completed game requirement.

End of the 5th inning, Visitors – 6, Home – 5. Visitor scores three runs in the top of the 6th  inning to extend lead to 9-5 when the rain comes.

RULING: Score reverts back to the 5th inning, Visitors – 6, Home – 5.

 

Sportsmanship Assistant Coach/Player Coach

NFHS ASSISTANT COACH OR PLAYER COACH RULE: Coaches are viewed by their players as teachers and positive role models. Assistant coaches or a player (occupying one of the coaches boxes) are not permitted to leave the coaching box or the dugout to dispute, question or challenge the authority of the umpire(s). If this should take place, the assistant coach/player coach is either restricted to the dugout or ejected, umpires jurisdiction, on the severity of the assistant coach’s action, and the head coach is restricted to the dugout for the remainder of that game. If the restriction to the dugout takes place in the first game of a double-header, both coach and player (occupying one of the coaches boxes) would be able to resume their normal coaching duties the second game. If the assistant coach is ejected, he would need to leave the confines of the playing field for the remainder of the day and not attend any contests until the next playing date has been completed at the level of competition he was ejected from. If a player was a base coach and he is restricted to the dugout he is eligible to play or base coach the second game of a double header. If the player occupying the coach’s box is ejected he stays in the dugout under the supervision of the head coach, and then falls under the ejection rule. Understand if the assistant coach is restricted or ejected, the head coach is restricted to the dugout for the remainder of that game. Other assistant coaches (in uniform) would have to take over the coaching box duties or players in uniform would assume those duties.

 

Board Policy Regarding Squad Limitation In IHSAA Tournament Play

The policy adopted by the Board of Control is as follows: The maximum of 24-player squad limitation will be enforced and any school in violation of same will lose by forfeiture. Host administrator, simply do not allow more than 24 players in uniform to enter through the pass gate. A school that brings more than 24 players may have additional players in their dugout, but are not allowed to be in uniform, but each player over 24 must purchase a ticket. The head coach is responsible for any additional players in street clothes in the dugout.

 

Videotaping

Videotaping or filming is permissible in scouting your opponent. Space for videotaping or filming for scouting is not required of host school. Hand held cameras are recommended. A coach, player, substitute attendant or other bench personnel are permitted to video from the dugout during the game and they may also watch it for coaching purposes. A coach may not use video replay and show it to the umpire, if a coach attempts to do this, he/she is subject to being ejected from the contest.

Schedule Information

Game Limitation

Member schools are permitted a 40 game limitation, exclusive of the tournament series.

The limitation rule applies to individual teams representing the school and an individual player participating on those teams.

No individual player may play in more than 40 games during the season, exclusive of the tournament series.

 

Regulations Pertaining to Games and Practice

First Practice: Week 44/May 2

First Game: Week 46/May 16

Contest Information

General Information

Infield will be taken 30 minutes before scheduled game time. Each team is allowed 10 minute infields, no matter how many players you put in each position.

If you are the host school, make sure to paint or chalk your foul lines to the foul pole.

Be sure media areas are marked or designated, and full batter’s boxes and coaching boxes are chalked by rule.

How to layout a field may be found in Rule 1, section 2. (If you need help on lighting, go to IHSAA home page).

Make every effort to make your pitchers mounds legal per NFHS rule.

Have baseballs for the umpires and host team have foul ball chasers lined up in advance.

Make sure you have a lineup card for umpires; starters listed with their numbers & position, subs and numbers on the back of the line-up card.

Each pitcher will receive no more than eight warm-up pitches the first inning or anytime the pitcher is replaced, exception injury or ejection. Each inning after that, the pitcher gets five warm-up pitches or one minute, whichever occurs first with the exception of injury or inclement weather.

Be sure to supply a rosin bag for the pitchers.

A coach must be in his team’s uniform in order to coach first or third base.

Schools are not permitted to play against non-school programs (Legion/AAU teams).

In-between games, teams are allowed 30 minutes before the second game is to begin. That means any maintenance on the field should be done immediately following the first game.

Coaches are required to verify their equipment is legal at the pre-game conference, this includes bats and helmets. Umpires will no longer inspect bats and helmets prior to the game. Coaches, it is your responsibility to make sure bats and helmets don’t have cracks in them and that the padding is in place and secure in the helmets. Umpires are instructed NOT to allow players to use equipment which does not meet regulations.

Eighth grader students in your school district are eligible to practice the first legal day of practice and may play the first legal playing (game) date, even if school is still in session.

All VARSITY regular season and tournament contests shall be contracted as 7 inning games. This includes any varsity weekend tournament game(s) that may have been played in previous years less than 7 innings or had a time limit in order to keep games on schedule. Please understand these 7 inning games only apply to varsity level competition.

Three scrimmages per school are allowed any time after the beginning of practice until the end of the state tournament series. (Only one other school may participate in the scrimmage.) This is per baseball program, not three at each level of competition. If the varsity team is scrimmaging at one location and the junior varsity at another location on the same day, this is considered two separate scrimmages. If the varsity team is scrimmaging at home and the junior varsity is scrimmaging at home on the same day, this would be considered one scrimmage. Please keep in mind that a bona fide scrimmage is where no public announcement has been made, no admission charged, no scores kept, and no school time may be used for travel or participation in such a scrimmage.

During both the regular season and postseason games at neutral sites, the home team book will serve as the official pitch count.

 

Musical Entertainment At Games

Appropriate music, if played, may be played before the game, between games, between innings up until the last pitch is thrown (5 or 8 warm-up pitches) and includes change of pitchers. Music is not to be played between batters as they approach the plate in the same half inning.

 

IHSAA Game Ending Procedures

All Iowa Varsity High School contests must consist of 6 ½ innings if the home team is ahead or complete a full 7 innings if the visiting team is ahead.

The National Federation 10 run rule is in effect when the home team is ahead by 10 or more runs after 4 ½ innings or after 5 complete innings with the visiting team leading by 10 or more runs.

In addition, any varsity game involving a 15 or more run differential after 3 ½ innings if the home team is ahead, or 4 innings if the visiting team is ahead will be terminated.

If the game is tied, extra innings will be played until a winner is determined by National Federation rule.

If a game is called at any time for weather/darkness, but a winner can be determined after either 4 ½ innings (home team ahead) or 5 innings (visiting team ahead) the game is considered official.

If a winner cannot be determined the game becomes suspended (under the IHSAA suspended rule) and must be completed at another set date, completing 7 innings or any of the above exceptions apply.

Pitching Information

Pitching Limitation Rule

Each individual is limited on the number of pitches thrown on a given day. The chart below shows how many pitches an individual can throw on a particular day and the number of days of rest required after throwing a specific number of pitches.

 

 

10th-12th Graders

8th-9th Graders
No Rest 1-25 1-25
1 Day 26-40 26-40
2 Days 41-65 41-65
3 Days 66-90 66-90
4 Days 91-110

*More than 90 pitches allowed only if finishing pitching to a batter

 

When the pitcher reaches 110 pitches, he may not pitch to another batter. He may only finish pitching to the current batter.

If an individual were to pitch on consecutive days, the two or more-day total would determine how many days of rest would be required before the individual could return to pitch. The consecutive day total cannot exceed 110 pitches for 10th-12 graders and 90 pitches for 8th and 9th graders.

10th-12th graders may only throw 180 pitches in a week through Saturday, June 4. Starting with the week of June 5, 10th- 12th graders are only restricted with the daily limitation. 8th-9th graders may only throw 150 pitches in a week for the entire season. A week is defined as Sunday-Saturday. An 8th or 9th  grader playing varsity baseball is still limited to 90 pitches on a day and 150 pitches in the week. The weekly limit is a soft-cap number similar to that off the 110 pitch daily limit for upperclassmen.

If an individual were to throw 40 or fewer pitches in game one of a doubleheader, he may return to pitch in game two, up to 110 pitches for the day. If an individual were to throw more than 40 pitches in game one of a doubleheader, he would be ineligible to pitch in game two. An individual can return to pitch in the same game if he had pitched earlier in the contests.

An adult designee from each team approved by the school will confirm the pitch count of each pitcher at the completion of each inning. If there is a discrepancy that cannot be worked out, the home scorebook/count will be considered the official count.

All varsity pitch counts are required to be entered into Varsity Bound within 24 hours of the completion of the game. All levels of baseball (freshman, JV, varsity, etc.) are required to complete the IHSAA Pitch Count Chart and both schools’ recorders are required to verify and sign said chart at the conclusion of the contest.

The baseball advisory committee approved that the current Varsity Bound check dates as the time frame to report pitch count violations. For example, the first required Varsity Bound statistical data entry is the second Tuesday in June. A coach contacts the IHSAA during the third week of June stating that a pitch count violation occurred during the first week of June. The IHSAA will deny that request for a potential forfeiture to occur.

 

Pitch Count Scenarios

A pitcher throws 85 pitches on Monday. How many calendar days of rest are required? Three calendar days of rest are required. He may pitch again on Friday of that week.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 106 pitches on Saturday. When is the next day he is eligible to pitch? He is eligible to pitch on Thursday after receiving four (4) days of rest. He is eligible to pitch the maximum of 110 pitches on Thursday.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 12 pitches on Tuesday. He does not throw on Wednesday. How many pitches can he throw on Thursday? He is eligible to pitch 110 pitches on Thursday.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 85 pitches on Monday and 85 pitches on Friday. When is the next day he is eligible to pitch? He is eligible to pitch on Tuesday, after receiving three (3) days of rest.

During the first week of the season, an underclassmen pitcher throws 85 pitches on Monday and is eligible to pitch again on Friday. How many pitches can he throw on Friday? The maximum number of pitches he can throw is 65. Underclassmen can throw a maximum of 150 pitches per week.

During the last week of the regular season, an underclassmen pitcher throws 85 pitches on Monday and is eligible to pitch again on Friday. How many pitches can he throw on Friday? The maximum number of pitches he can throw is 65. Underclassmen are restricted to 150 pitches per week all season long.

During the first week of the season, an upperclassmen pitcher throws 85 pitches on Monday and is eligible to pitch again on Friday. How many pitches can he throw on Friday? The maximum number of pitches he can throw is 95. Upperclassmen can throw a maximum of 180 pitches per week through Saturday, June 4.

During the last week of the regular season, an upperclassmen pitcher throws 85 pitches on Monday and is eligible to pitch again on Friday. How many pitches can he throw on Friday? The upperclassmen can throw a maximum of 110 pitches. Upperclassmen are only held to the daily maximum starting with Sunday, June 5.

In the bottom of the 6th, an upperclassmen pitcher has reached his 110 pitch limit with a 2-2 count on the batter. Is he required to come out at that time? No, the pitcher may complete the at bat with the current batter or inning, whatever occurs first. After either of these events, the pitcher is required to be replaced. The total number of pitches thrown will be the number recorded and not limited to 110.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 85 pitches on Monday and is eligible to pitch again on Friday. During the game on Friday, the pitcher reaches 95 pitches (180 weekly maximum) with a 2 ball, 2 strike count. Is he required to come out at that time? No, the pitcher may complete the at bat with the current batter or inning, whatever occurs first. After either of these events, the pitcher is required to be replaced.

An upperclassmen pitcher has thrown 89 pitches. His coach decides to have him face one more batter. The batter is retired on four (4) pitches. How many days of rest is required for this pitcher? This individual is required to rest four (4) days. The “soft cap” only applies to the 110 pitch limit and not to the lower tier limits.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 12 pitches on Tuesday. How many pitches can he throw on Wednesday? He can throw 98 pitches on Wednesday. He is now required to rest for four (4) calendar days. He cannot pitch again until the following Monday.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 12 pitches on Tuesday and throws 12 pitches on Wednesday. How many pitches can he throw on Thursday? He can throw 86 pitches on Thursday. He is now required to rest for four (4) calendar days. He cannot pitch again until the following Tuesday.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 12 pitches on Tuesday, throws 12 pitches on Wednesday, and throws 12 pitches on Thursday. How many pitches can he throw on Friday? He cannot throw on Friday due to the fact that his consecutive day pitch total is greater than 25. He is eligible to pitch 110 pitches on Saturday.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 30 pitches in game 1 of same day doubleheader.  Can he  throw  in game 2 of the same day doubleheader? Yes, he may throw 80 pitches in the second game.

An upperclassmen pitcher throws 45 pitches in game 1 of the same day doubleheader. Can he throw in game 2 of the same day doubleheader? No, he may not return to throw as his game 1 total was greater than 40. Also, the is required to have two calendar days of rest.

A game begins on Monday at 10 PM and is completed at 12:05 AM on Tuesday. The upperclassmen pitcher throws a complete game with 89 pitches. When is he eligible to pitch again? He is eligible to pitch on Friday after receiving three (3) days rest. The contest is considered to have been played on Monday.

A game begins on Monday at 10 PM and is completed at 12:05 AM on Tuesday. Team A uses two pitchers during the contest, each throwing 45 pitches. When are both eligible to pitch again. Both pitchers are eligible to pitch again on Thursday, after receiving two (2) days rest. The contest is considered to have been played on Monday.

A game begins on Monday at 11 PM and is completed at 1 AM on Tuesday. A relief pitcher enters the game in the 5th inning at 12:25 AM on Tuesday and throws 30 pitches. When is he eligible to pitch again? He is eligible to pitch on Wednesday after receiving one (1) day of rest. The contest is considered to have been played on Monday.

A game begins on Wednesday and is suspended in the 4th inning. An upperclassmen pitcher has thrown 70 pitches. The game is rescheduled to be played in two weeks. 1) When is the pitcher eligible to pitch again? He is eligible to pitch again on Sunday, after receiving three (3) days of rest. 2) Is he limited to 40 pitches when the game resumes? No. He can throw as many pitches as the current policy allows.

A game begins on Tuesday and is suspended in the 4th inning. An upperclassmen pitcher has thrown 70 pitches. The game is rescheduled to be played on Thursday of that week. 1) When is the pitcher eligible to pitch again? He is eligible to pitch again on Saturday, after receiving three (3) days of rest. 2)  How many pitches can he throw during the completion of the game later that week? Zero, he has not had the required amount of days or rest to pitch, based on his pitch count.

A game begins on the first Monday of the season and is suspended in the 6th inning at 3-3. An upperclassmen pitcher has thrown 89 pitches. The game is rescheduled to be played on Friday of that week. 1) When is the pitcher eligible to pitch again? He is eligible to pitch again on Friday, after receiving three (3) days of rest. 2) How many pitches can he throw during the completion of the game on Friday? He may throw 91 pitches. 3) Assuming he throws 21 pitches on Friday, how many pitches can he throw on Saturday? Due to throwing less than 25 on Friday, he may throw 70 pitches on Saturday as he will meet his maximum pitch count of 180.

A game begins on the fifth Monday of the season and is suspended in the 6th inning at 3-3. An upperclassmen pitcher has thrown 89 pitches. The game is rescheduled to be played on Friday of that week. 1) When is the pitcher eligible to pitch again? He is eligible to pitch again on Friday, after receiving three (3) days of rest. 2) How many pitches can he throw during the completion of the game on Friday? He may throw 110 pitches. 3) Assuming he throws 21 pitches on Friday, how many pitches can he throw on Saturday? Due to throwing less than 25 on Friday, he may throw 89 pitches on Saturday.

An ambidextrous pitcher throws 20 pitches with his right arm and 15 pitches with his left arm during a game on Monday. Is the individual eligible to pitch on Tuesday? No. Even though each arm total is below 25 pitches, his total pitch count is 35, which requires one day of rest.

The home team scorebook has the pitcher of Team A with 93 pitches, with the visiting team scorebook has the pitcher of Team A with 90 pitches. How is the issue resolved? An adult designee from both teams approve by each school will confirm the pitch count of each pitcher at the completion of each inning. If there is a discrepancy that cannot be resolved, the home team scorebook/count will be considered the official count. (NOTE:  The  umpiring crew  will not be involved  in the determination of appropriate pitch count total(s).)

On Monday, a 9th  grader throws 90 pitches and has a 2 ball, 2 strike count on the batter.  His coach replaces after the 90th pitch. How many calendar days of rest are required? Three calendar days of rest are required. He may pitch again on Friday of that week and is limited to 60 pitches (soft-cap).

On Monday, a 9th grader throws 90 pitches and has a 2 ball, 2 strike count on the batter. His coach allows him to finish the batter and he strikes him out on the next pitch, having thrown 91 pitches. By rule, the pitcher is required to be removed from the contest. How many calendar days of rest are required?  Four calendar days of rest are required.  He may pitch again on Saturday of that week and is limited to 59 pitches (soft-cap).

On Monday, an underclassman throws 70 pitches. On Friday, he begins a batter at 79 pitches. Is he limited to only one pitch on the batter? No, the weekly limit is a soft cap, and the pitcher may pitch to the batter as he started the at bat with fewer than 150 pitches for the week.

 

Pitching Exceptions For 8th Through 10th Graders

The Board of Control has approved a policy that any 8th, 9th or 10th grade varsity player may pitch and bat on the freshman, sophomore or junior varsity level of competition and not have to count that game participation against his individual game limitation rule. If this player plays another position besides pitcher during the contest, this contest will count against his 40 game participation limit.

Weather Information

Lightning Safety

The safety of the players and spectators is always more important than the game! Communication between game management, officials & coaches is essential for the safety of everyone.

Lightning only takes an instant to strike. You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder.

All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. Lightning often strikes as far as 10 miles away from rainfall. Don’t wait until the last minute to seek shelter.

If thunder is heard, or cloud-to-ground lightning is seen, immediately suspend the event and instruct everyone to take shelter in a safe structure.

Have a lightning safety plan in place. Know where teams and spectators will go for safety and know how much time it will take them to get to safety. A “safe structure” is a completely enclosed building that is normally occupied or frequently used by people. The building should have plumbing and electrical wiring to help ground it from lightning. If there is no such structure available, an enclosed vehicle with a metal roof and sides is a reasonable second choice.

When a contest is suspended due to lightning, wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last thunder before leaving safe shelter and resuming activity.

Lightning detectors are a great tool to draw one’s attention to the fact that lightning is in the vicinity. Remember, even with lightning detectors, the weather should be monitored closely for lightning or thunder.

 

Precautions To Take In Hazardous Weather

Rule 3, Section 1, Article 5 of the National Federation Football Rule book states, “WHEN WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE CONSTRUED TO BE HAZARDOUS TO LIFE OR LIMB OF THE PARTICIPANTS, THE CREW OF OFFICIALS IS

AUTHORIZED TO DELAY OR SUSPEND THE GAME.” Rule 1, Section 1, Article 7 states, “The game officials shall assume authority for the contest, including penalizing unsportsmanlike acts, 30 minutes prior to the scheduled game time, or as soon thereafter as they are able to be present.” Both of these rules dictate the authority of the officials, but school administrators assume the responsibility for decisions made prior to the time the officials’ authority begins.

 

Hazardous Weather Guidelines

The primary concern when signs of hazardous weather are present is the safety of participants and spectators. Have a safety plan for any type of hazardous weather that may occur. Practice and follow the plan. Know where people will go for safety and know how much time it will take for them to get there. Have specific guidelines for suspending the event so everyone has time to reach a place of safety before the threat becomes significant.

 

Suspension Or Postponement Of Contests

I. Prior to the contest officials’ assuming authority.
A. The home school’s management shall determine whether a contest should be suspended or postponed due to severe weather.
1. In making the decision whether or not to suspend or postpone a contest, the host management should first take into consideration the safety of the participants and spectators.
2. Playing surface conditions should be considered and what continued use may do to the surface.
3. If the decision is made by the host management to postpone the contest, administrators from both schools should mutually agree if, and when, to reschedule.

II. Once the contest officials’ authority begins.
A. Refer to NFHS playing rules, or IHSAA post-season rules, for the exact rules in each sport regarding contest officials authority to suspend the contest.
III. Postponing the contest.
A. Wait a sufficient amount of time to see if the severe weather will subside.
B. Home management and/or contest officials shall decide whether to postpone or resume the contest.
C. Playing surface conditions should be considered when making this decision.
IV. If the contest resumes.
A. Adequate time should be given for contestants to warm up prior to continuing play.

V. If the contest cannot be resumed after a severe weather delay.
A. Administrators from both schools need to come to an agreement. The contest may be considered complete with the existing score becoming the final score, or the contest may be postponed and continued from the point of interruption, at a time mutually agreed to by both schools.
B. If a regular season game that has been suspended cannot be completed by the ninth Friday of the football season, that game will be considered final at the point of suspension. All necessary points will be awarded at that time.

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