NFHS Rules

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The NFHS rules are the “science” of officiating. We have positional authority because we wear a striped shirt, whistle, and flag. But if we are not rules experts, we are not properly serving the players and coaches. This Rules section includes ten lessons on the ten NFHS rules. We don’t go into detail in the lessons; instead, we cover essential highlights that should provide the foundation you need. We recommend you supplement the training with extensive self-study.


NFHS Rule Book

Rule 1 – The Game, Field, Players and Equipment

Rule 2 – Definitions of Playing Terms

Rule 3 – Periods, Time Factors and Substitutions

Rule 4 – Ball in Play, Dead Ball and Out of Bounds

Rule 5 – Series of Downs, Number of Down and Team Possession After Penalty

Rule 6 – Kicking the Ball and Fair Catch

Rule 7 – Snapping, Handling and Passing the Ball