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In an effort to increase sporting conduct by basketball coaches this year, the OHSAA Board of Control adopted a new bench (Coaching Box) rule which created a 14' box. By now all schools - junior and senior high - should have marked the 14' box with tape or permanent markings.

Team benches shall be located on the scoring table side of the floor. The Coaching box is bounded by the sideline, the team bench, a line at the end of the bench nearest the scorer's table and another line 14' measured back toward the end line. Officials and Head Coaches have been instructed that failure to have a coaching box marked will create a situation where NO coach may stand during the game. School administrators and game site hosts are responsible for complying with this floor marking rule.

Head Coaches and only Head Coaches are permitted to stand and coach. The Head Coach must remain in the coaching box. When the Head Coach is out of the box and "just coaching" the coaching box rule will be enforced as follows: First Offense - warning and return to box; Next Offense - technical foul.

When the Head Coach is in or out of the box behaving inappropriately (10-4) the coaching box rule will be enforced as follows: Technical Foul. Assistant Coaches do not have the same privileges as Head Coaches. Assistants must remain seated during the game. The officials will warn the Head Coach if an assistant is standing in the box. Any subsequent violations will be penalized with a technical foul and an indirect technical foul assessed to the Head Coach.

Coaches who continually abuse the coaching box rule risk having the OHSAA remove the box completely.

Officials who fail to enforce the coaching box rule risk having penalties assessed by the OHSAA including, but not limited to loss of tournament games.

School Administrators must see that floors are marked according to rule, demand that coaches adhere to the rule and officials enforce the rule.

Note - As of this posting, six officiating crews have been reprimanded and placed on probation for failure to enforce the bench rule. Three officials have been removed from tournament considerations.

Concern regarding the unsporting conduct exhibited by fans exists throughout the country. Unruly fans and spectators that use inappropriate gestures or comments should be addressed by game management. Failure to require appropriate spectator comments and behavior often escalates into more serious conflicts. Game managers may be considered negligent if there is failure to control spectators. Officials are authorized to suspend a game until administrators address fan behavior.

ALL TEAM CONTROL fouls result in the defensive team being awarded a throw in at the closest spot to the foul. Therefore, coaches and officials must know when TEAM CONTROL begins and ends. Read Rule Four, Section 12, Articles 2-6, on page 30 of the Rule Book. Under no circumstance, can a DEFENSIVE team, or defensive players, be in TEAM CONTROL. Defense never has the ball. Only the offensive team can have team control!

Reminders: No team control exists during a throw-in, a jump ball, or after a shot has been released on a try for goal. Team control DOES continue during passes, interrupted dribbles, deflected passes, fumbles and loose balls until an opponent secures control of the ball or it becomes dead.

This rule change is treated the way a "player control" foul has been treated in the past. The difference is that it now applies to all OFFENSIVE TEAM MEMBERS.

Coaches, officials and school administrators must work together in order to provide student athletes with an educationally rich athletic experience. Rewards await those who "do it right" and penalties will occur for those who "do it wrong".

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