Due to the cancellation of spring sports at high schools across the country, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) will not be publishing new rules (both print and digital) for 2021 in the sports of baseball, softball, track and field, girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse.
Because very few schools were able to compete in these sports prior to the March shutdown of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, competition in these sports in 2021 will be conducted under 2020 NFHS rules for baseball, softball, track and field, girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse.
“Since most schools were not able to practice or play a game in these sports, we thought it was best to carry the 2020 rules publications forward to next year,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “Our rules committees in these sports will conduct virtual meetings this summer but will not be approving any additional rules changes.”
Among the five aforementioned sports, a total of eight 2020 NFHS publications will be used for the 2021 season, including the Baseball Rules Book, Baseball Case Book, Softball Rules Book, Softball Case Book, Track and Field/Cross Country Rules Book, Track and Field/Cross Country Case Book, Girls Lacrosse Rules Book and Boys Lacrosse Rules Book. In addition, the 2020 NFHS Simplified and Illustrated Rules and 2020 Rules by Topic books for baseball and softball produced in concert with Referee Enterprises Inc. (REI) will be used in 2021 as well.
The NFHS Baseball Umpires Manual and the NFHS Track and Field/Cross Country Officials Manual will be published this year as scheduled since these are two-year publications.
As a result of this change, the NFHS will be working with its member state associations to fulfill needs for additional 2020 spring sports rules publications in advance of the 2021 season.
The NFHS has been publishing playing rules for high school sports since the 1930s when the first high school football rules were published. Currently, the NFHS publishes rules in printed and digital forms in 17 sports for girls and boys competition.