High School Football Rules

High school football is a popular sport played by students in secondary schools across the United States and other countries. The rules for high school football are governed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), with some variations depending on the state or region. Here are some of the basic rules for high school football:

  1. Field and Equipment:
    • The football field is 100 yards long and 53.3 yards wide.
    • The end zones are 10 yards deep.
    • The standard football used in high school football is slightly smaller than the ones used in college or professional football.
    • Players are required to wear helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys, pants, and other protective gear.
  2. Team Composition:
    • A standard high school football team consists of 11 players on the field at a time.
    • Teams are divided into offense and defense, with specific positions for each player.
  3. Scoring:
    • Touchdown: Worth 6 points. A touchdown is scored when a player carries the ball across the opponent’s goal line or catches a pass in the end zone.
    • Extra Point: After a touchdown, the scoring team can attempt to kick the ball through the goalposts for 1 point (from the 3-yard line) or 2 points (from the 10-yard line) by running or passing into the end zone again.
    • Field Goal: Worth 3 points. A team can kick the ball through the opponent’s goalposts during a designated field goal attempt.
    • Safety: Worth 2 points. A safety is scored when the defense tackles an offensive player holding the ball in their own end zone.
  4. Game Structure:
    • A standard high school football game consists of four quarters, each lasting 12 minutes.
    • The clock stops after incomplete passes, out-of-bounds plays, penalties, and touchdowns. It resumes on the referee’s signal.
    • Overtime: If the game is tied at the end of regulation, overtime periods are played until a winner is determined. Each team gets a possession from the opponent’s 10-yard line, and they alternate until a winner is decided.
  5. Offensive Play:
    • The offense has four downs (attempts) to advance the ball 10 yards. If they succeed, they get another set of four downs.
    • If the offense fails to advance the ball 10 yards in four downs, possession of the ball is turned over to the opposing team.
  6. Defensive Play:
    • The defense aims to prevent the offense from advancing the ball and scoring.
    • Defensive players can tackle the ball carrier, intercept passes, and try to cause fumbles.
  7. Penalties:
    • There are various penalties for rule violations, such as holding, pass interference, false starts, and more.
    • Penalties result in the loss of yards or additional down for the opposing team.

These are some of the fundamental rules of high school football. Keep in mind that there might be slight variations based on the state or region you are in, as different states can adopt their own rules or rule modifications.

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