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Weed Shark

"Hand in Face" Rules

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I'm coaching a sixth grade basketball team. What is the official rule (we're basically Minnesota High School rules), on getting a hand in the opponents face when they’re taking a shot? My high school coach promoted it (28 years ago). Another coach for our team says it is illegal and his high school coach (North Dakota) told them not to do it.

I don't want anybody with his hand a few inches away from someone's nose at this level, and get a finger in the eye. I just think they need to realize getting an arm up and interrupting sight lines is another way to pressure a shot.

I did a search and did not find what I was hoping to, maybe someone on this forum knows.

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I think getting a hand in a players face while in the act of shooting is excepted and much dirrerent then hand waving or face guarding while not in the act of shooting.

4. Specific unsporting acts. The committee is concerned about the following specific unsporting acts. Coaches, players and officials must pay particular attention to these areas:

A. Face guarding. A new rule change that calls for a technical foul for face guarding regardless of whether or not the offended player has the ball calls attention to the problem. The NFHS first defined face guarding as illegal in 1913. The rules have essentially been unchanged and have received varying degrees of emphasis through the century.

Face guarding is defined in rule 10-3-7d as purposely obstructing an opponent's vision by waving or placing hand(s) near his or her eyes. The penalty is a technical foul. Face guarding could occur with a single hand and a player's hand(s) do not have to be waving; the hand(s) could be stationary but still restrict the opponent's vision.

The committee does not intend for good defense to be penalized. Challenging a shooter with a 'hand in the face' or fronting a post player with a hand in the air to prevent a post pass are examples of acceptable actions. The rule and point of emphasis is designed to penalize actions that are clearly not related to playing the game of basketball properly and that intentionally restrict vision. Often, that occurs off the ball or as players are moving up the court in transition.

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From the 2004 - 2005 NFHS Basketball Rules Points of Emphasis:

Face Guarding: A rule change calls for a technical foul for face guarding regardless of whether or not the offended player has the ball.

Face guarding has been illegal since 1913.

Face guarding is defined as purposely obstructing an opponent’s vision by waving or placing hand(s) near his/her eyes.

The penalty is a technical foul.

Face guarding could occur with a single hand and a player’s hand(s) do not have to be waving; the hand(s) could be stationary but still restrict the opponent’s vision.

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Pretty gray area. I would use discretion and call it if someone was guarding the face before the player was attempting to shoot. Once a player pulls up, then I think you should be able to get a hand in their face.

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I have been reffing about the same amount as Dietz and also have never called this. You are trying to contest the shot and playing defense. Play on.

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You guys ever take the MSHSL test? I was thinking of trying next year but need a partner to have a 2 man crew.

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Yep

You have to take it every year to be certified. Test is 100 questions and you have to get 80% or better. It is open book. Plus you have to attend an online meeting and take a quiz at the end about the meeting.

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