High school football players who lose their helmets during play in the 2012 high school season must leave the field for one play according to a rule change adopted by the National Federation of State High School Association Football Rules Committee.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association was one of the first groups in the country to study how frequently helmets came off during play. The NCHSAA had its game officials track every helmet that came off during play for the 2011 season.
“I’m thrilled and ecstatic,” said Mark Drebelbis, an assistant commissioner of the NCHSAA. “We were very much in the forefront in pushing for this rule change. We had the data to show that helmets were coming off way to frequently.
“One of the most important aspects of concussion prevention is a properly fitted helmet. This is a great rule change and will help us get properly fitted helmets on our players.”
In cases where the helmet comes completely off without it being directly attributable to a foul by the opponent, the player will have to leave the game for at least one down. If an opposing player jerks an opposing players’ helmet off, it is a penalty.