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INDIANAPOLIS - High school basketball coaches would have more room to communicate with their players under a rule change approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations basketball rules committee.

State high school associations would have the opportunity to increase the space allotted for the coaching box from six feet to 14 feet, the committee ruled at its meeting earlier this month in Indianapolis.

The committee also ruled that the inbounding team can run the end line when a violation or foul is committed by the scoring team immediately following a made basket.

The rules are not binding on each individiual state high school association but are intended as guidelines.

A rule governing when a game is officially over was modified by the committee. The rule previously stated that the game was final "when the referee leaves the visual confines of the playing area." That rule was modified to show the game is over when the entire crew has left the floor.

"If a mistake has been made and one member of the crew remains on the floor, why wouldn't we want the opportunity for the crew to return and correct the mistake?" Mary Struckhoff, assistant director of the NFHS and liaison to the basketball rules committee, said Tuesday.

Commemorative or memorial patches may be worn on jerseys, the committee ruled, provided the patch is not a number and is worn above the neckline or in the side insert.

The committee also recommended that home teams wear light-colored uniforms while visiting teams wear dark colors.

In an effort to avoid confusion at the scorer's table, the committee ruled that an "x" be placed on the floor in front of the official scorer and that substitutes need only give their number when reporting, not that of the player they are replacing.

Other rules changes approved by the committee include limiting music or sound effects to pre-game, timeouts, intermission and post-game, and ensuring that players remain standing during 30-second timeouts.

The basketball rules committee includes one member from each of the eight NFHS sections, representatives of the National Federation Coaches Association and National Federation Officials Association, and committee chairman Richard Knox, deputy executive director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

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