National high school basketball rule change eliminates one-and-one free throws

Harrison Hornery of Mater Dei High shoots a free throw.
Harrison Hornery of Mater Dei shoots a free throw.
(Nick Koza)

The National Federation of State High School Assn.’s Basketball Rules Committee has approved the elimination of one-and-one free-throw situations for next season, awarding two free throws for any foul in a bonus situation.

Teams will reach the bonus after the fifth foul is called in each quarter instead of the previously required seven fouls each half. Team fouls will reset each quarter. Previously two free throws, known as the double bonus, were awarded on the 10th foul of a half.

The decision was made to help lessen possible injuries on rebounding situations, according to a news release from the NFHS.

“The rules committee studied data that showed higher injury rates on rebounding situations and saw this as an opportunity to reduce opportunities for rough play during rebounds,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee, in a news release Monday. “Additionally, resetting the fouls each quarter will improve game flow and allow teams to adjust their play by not carrying foul totals to quarters two and four.”


The change isn’t going over well with some coaches who say the rule change won’t help prepare players for college basketball, which still has one-and-one situations.

“When everything goes two shots, it takes away the pressure,” Taft coach Derrick Taylor said. “I’m not a fan of this at all but we’ll adjust.”

David Rebibo, coach of state champion Harvard-Westlake, said, “Why aren’t they consulting with coaches working with kids day in and day out and why aren’t we helping these kids prepare for college with their rules? Are kids going to get six fouls?”

The change also will affect officials who work college and high school games, forcing adjustments.