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Safety Distracting Noises (e.g. band) - 08/05/2008

School Administrators and Coaches that have active bands should work with and instruct the band directors to be careful when the band is playing that they do not to play so loud that the opposing teams cannot hear their signals. While bands certainly improve the atmosphere of the game they should not be disruptive to the opposing team.

Following is an example with a ruling that is supported by the NFHS Rule 9.9 (page 75) for each of you to discuss with your band directors and possible band members prior to your upcoming games. This message in no way is intended to take away from your bands playing and representing your schools during your games however it is intended to improve Sportsmanship where applicable.

Play: As team A’s quarterback is trying to call signals, team B’s band is playing so loudly that team A players cannot hear their quarterback, who turns to the referee and asks for help. Does the referee have jurisdiction over the band?

Ruling: Under the NFHS rules this falls under the category of unfair acts. The referee has the discretion to initially issue a warning or penalize team B. The penalty may range from a delay of game (5 yards) to an unsportsmanlike foul (15 yards) or to forfeiture of the game. In the play above, if a penalty is administered it is against the head coach of team B. (NFHS Rule 9.9.1 and 9.9.3) page 75.

Penalty: Unfair Act; the referee enforces any penalty he considers equitable including the award of a score or forfeiture of the game.

If you have any questions at any time regarding your game officials or the rules of the game, please contact Pete Dardis, (707) 762-9585, nboa@comcast.net. You are always welcome to visit the Coaches' Corner on our website at www.nboafootball.org to review information that pertains to NFHS rules and Sportsmanship Acts.

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Last modified: December 23, 2018

Questions about any of the above Topics should be address to:
Pete Dardis, NBOO Chairman