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Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union


Upon recommendations from the IGHSAU and IHSAA Basketball Advisory Committees and with the support of the IGHSAU Board of Directors; and contingent upon approval from the IHSAA Board of Control and the Joint Committee effective Friday, November 20, 2015, the head basketball coach may stand within the designated coaching box as described in NFHS Basketball Rule 1-13-2.  This rule will be effective at all levels of basketball involving students in grades 7-12.  Rule 1-13-2 replaces the IGHSAU/IHSAA Bench Conduct Rule that has been in effect for many years.

The first technical foul charged directly or indirectly to the head coach results in loss of coaching box privileges and the head coach must remain seated for the remainder of the game, except as stated in NFHS Basketball Rules 10-5-1b, c, d, and e.  The use of the coaching box is for the head coach only and may not be designated to assistant coaches. 

NFHS Basketball Rule 1-13-2 states that the coaching box shall be outlined outside the side of the court on which the scorer's and timer's table and team benches are located.  The area shall be bounded by a line drawn 14 feet from the end line towards the division line.  At this point, a line drawn from the sideline toward the team bench becomes the end of the coaching box going towards the end line.  From this line go another 14 feet towards the division line, then a line drawn towards the bench becomes the end of the coaching box closest to the division line.  The coaching box is 14 feet long placed in the middle of the regulation 42 feet long half court.  These lines shall be located off the court and be 2 inches wide.  The same directions should be followed for the other side of the scorer's and timer’s table.

The administrative staffs of the IGHSAU and IHSAA recognize the additional freedom this provides head coaches to “coach” their athletes.  It is of the utmost importance that coaches understand the privilege that is being afforded them and the responsibility that comes with it.  It is the expectation of the IHSAA, the IGHSAU, the IBCA, and the Basketball Advisory Committees that this freedom be guarded carefully within the coaching fraternity and exercised diligently by the officials calling the games.  Officials are instructed to permit certain behavior by the head coach who engages in spontaneous reactions to officiating calls/no-calls provided the head coach remains in the coaching box and the reaction is not prolonged, profane, vulgar, or threatening.  At the official’s discretion, recurring spontaneous reactions by the head coach may result in a warning with subsequent incidents resulting in a technical foul.  When complaints become more public or the attacks personal, there should be less discretion exercised by the official.

Egregious behavior should be properly and consistently penalized with a technical foul without warning.  Examples of egregious conduct violations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Comments directed at or referring to any game official that question the integrity of an official (e.g., repeated references to the number of fouls called against each team; suggesting an official is “cheating” a team, etc.).
  2. Profane, vulgar, threatening, or derogatory remarks or personal comments relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation directed at or referring to any game official or opposing player/bench personnel.
  3. Prolonged negative responses to a call/no-call which is disrespectful or unprofessional and includes, but is not limited to: thrashing of arms in disgust, dramatizing contact by re-enacting the play, or running or jumping in disbelief over a call/no-call.
  4. A negative response to a call/no-call including, but not limited to: approaching/charging an official in a hostile, aggressive or otherwise threatening manner, emphatically removing one’s coat in response to a call/no-call or throwing equipment or clothing on to the floor.
  5. Continual criticism during a game regarding the same incident after warning by an official.
  6. Leaving the coaching box for any reason not permitted by rule.

For additional information regarding this rule change, please contact Brett Nanninga at the IHSAA or Joel Oswald at the IGHSAU.
5000 Westown Parkway - Suite 150 - West Des Moines, IA 50266

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