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Unnecessary roughness rule changed for high school football

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The National Federation of State High School Associations has changed a football rule involving unnecessary roughness to minimize the risk to players.

The association said in a Friday release that its board of directors has approved revising the rule to ban unnecessary roughness with defenseless players. The group also has revised its spearing rule. That rule now bans players contacting an opponent at or below the shoulders with the crown of their helmets.

Brad Garrett is chair of the NFHS’s football rules committee. He says minimizing risk to players must be “at the forefront of the game.”

The association says its 2013-2014 survey shows football is the most popular high school sport for boys with more than 1.09 million players. About 1,800 girls played football during the 2013-2014 season.