Printer friendly versions found at "Forms / Policies"

Appropriate Health Care Official: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has defined the Appropriate Health-Care Official as the school medical officer.

The memo states: 1. "New York State only permits the school medical officer to clear an athlete to return to play after removal from a game for exhibiting the signs/symptoms of a concussion." 2. "If the school medical officer is not available on the sideline to allow a safe return to play, the athlete must remain out of the game until cleared by the school medical officer to return to play."

According to the Office of Professions: "the only persons who can diagnose are physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants and therefore the school medical officer who must be either a physician or nurse practitioner is the only individual who may clear the athlete to return to play. The Office of Professions has specifically indicated that athletic trainers, nurses, EMS, and other medical personnel are not authorized in NYS to perform such clearances.

Concussion Policy

This memo is to serve as a clarification of the NFHS Concussion Rule, effective for the 2010-2011 school year, for the sports that use the NFHS rules.

The NFHS Concussion Rule states, "Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headaches, dizziness, confusion or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional". The NFHS emphasizes in the concussion rule that coaches and officials are NOT expected to "diagnose" a concussion. This is the responsibility of the appropriate health-care professional.

The responsibility for observing signs, symptoms, and behaviors that are consistent with a concussion is shared by both sport officials and school officials. The following protocol should be followed if any signs, symptoms or behaviors are observed.

Sport official: Remove the athlete from the contest. The official is NOT responsible for the sideline evaluation or the management of the athlete once they have been removed from the game. The official does not have to receive any paper work clearing the player to return to the game.

School official: The athlete needs to be assessed by an appropriate health care professional. School health personnel are considered appropriate health care professionals. School health personnel include the Chief School Medical Officer, school nurse, physician, certified athletic trainer or an EMT that is a member of the on-site EMS squad. If the appropriate health care professional suspects a concussion, the student athlete MAY NOT return to the contest. The athlete MAY NOT return if an appropriate health care professional is not available. The NFHS and NYSPHSAA recommend that any athlete that suffers a concussion should not return to play the day of the injury. A student athlete that has been diagnosed with a concussion MUST be cleared by the Chief School Medical Officer.

The NFHS and NYSPHSAA have developed many resources to help school officials, sport officials, parents, and students learn more about concussion management. A concussion DVD, sideline cards, and other useful materials can be found on the NYSPHSAA website ( A cost free concussion management course can be found on the NFHS website (

We have included a list of possible signs, symptoms, and behaviors that can be observed by sport officials and school officials. We have also included for school officials a recommended return to play protocol. We encourage anyone that has questions or concerns to contact the NYSPHSAA office or the Section Concussion Management Team.


1. Problems in Brain Function

  • Confused state - Dazed look, vacant stare, confusion about what happened or is happening.
  • Memory problems - Can't remember assignment on play, opponent, score of game, or period of the game. Can't remember how or with whom he or she traveled to the game, what he or she is wearing, what was eaten for breakfast etc.
  • Symptoms reported by athlete - Headache, nausea, or vomiting, blurred or double vision, oversensitivity to sound, light or touch, ringing in the ears, feeling foggy or groggy.
  • Lack of sustained attention - Difficulty sustaining focus adequately to complete a task or a coherent thought or conversation.

2. Speed of Brain Function: Slow response to questions, slow slurred speech, incoherent speech, slow body movements, slow reaction time.

3. Unusual Behaviors: Behaving in a combative, aggressive or very silly manner, or just atypical for the individual. Repeatedly asking the same question over and over. Restless and irritable behavior with constant motion and attempts to return to play or leave. Reactions that seem out of proportion and inappropriate. Changing position frequently and having trouble resting or finding a comfortable position. These can be manifestations of post-head trauma difficulties.

4. Problems with Balance and Coordination: Dizzy, slow, clumsy movements, inability to walk a straight line or balance on one foot with eyes closed.

Recommended Return to Play Protocol

Day 1: No exertional activity until medically cleared and asymptomatic for 24 hours.

Day 2: Begin low-impact activity such as walking, stationary bike, etc.

Day 3: Initiate aerobic activity fundamental to specific sport such as skating, running, etc.

Day 4: Begin non-contact skill drills specific to sport such as dribbling, ground balls, batting, etc.

Day 5: Full contact in practice setting

If the athlete remains without symptoms, he or she may return to play.

Special note: Athlete must remain asymptomatic to progress to next day. If symptoms return, the athlete must return to the previous level. Medical check should occur before contact.


NYSPHSAA Scrimmage Criteria

1. Scrimmage cannot be longer than 90 minutes
2. The periods must be broken up into periods that do not duplicate a game.
3. Scoreboards must not be used.
4. Each period must be started with a goal keeper punt.


National Federation Rules

I.    Pre-game
      A.     All players must wear shin guards under their socks.

      B.     Inspections: No jewelry, hard casts, metal or plastic headgear or face protection. Glasses are
              legal. It is the coaches responsibility to be sure they are securely fastened and have no sharp

      C.     Coin toss: The winner gets the choice of goal or kicking off.

II.   Length of Game - GIRLS & BOYS
      A.     There shall be two 40-minute halves.

      B.     There shall be ten minutes between halves which may be shortened if both coaches agree.

III. Suspended Game - In the event a game must be suspended because of conditions which make it
    impossible to continue play and less than half of the game has been played, the game will be
    rescheduled from the start. If half or more of the game has been played the game is considered

IV. Time-outs
      A.     There are no time-outs except for injury which shall be an official time-out.

      B.     When the clock is stopped and an injured player is attended on the field, the injured player
               must be replaced.

      C.     The clock is stopped for penalty shots and after goals.

V. Media Coverage The winning team's coach shall report the score to Newsday; and in the event of
    a tie game, the home team should contact the media.

VI. Overtime Procedures - BOYS
      A.    Regular Season: Two 10-minute sudden victory periods.

      B.    Sectionals & Beyond: Two 15-minute sudden victory periods, then penalty kicks.

      C.    If still tied in State Championship Game only co-champions will be declared after the two
              sudden victory periods.

VII. Overtime Procedures - GIRLS
      A.    Regular Season: Two 10-minute periods played fully.

      B.    Sectionals & Beyond: Two 10-minute periods played fully, then two 5-minute sudden victory
              periods, then penalty kicks.

      C.    If still tied in State Championship Game only co-champions will be declared after the two
              sudden victory periods.

Section XI Tournament

BOYS and GIRLS: Tournament play will end with the qualifying games which determine class qualifiers. (Girls: approved 5/22/03) (Boys: approved 3/30/04)

Qualifying: Any team which finishes with a league record of .500 or better shall qualify for the Section XI tournament.

Class Qualifiers: The team in each classification progressing the farthest will qualify for NYSPHSAA competition.

Suspended Game: If a game is suspended at any point, it shall be resumed from the point of suspension (including overtime and tie-breaking procedures).

Yellow Card Accumulation Policy

Disqualifications due to an accumulation of five yellow cards occurring in the last game of the season will carry over into the next season of participation (winter, spring, or next fall) if the team does not enter post-season play. A one-game suspension resulting from a yellow card in a team's last post-season game will carry over into the next season of participation (winter, spring, or next fall).



Game Conditions

1.   A minimum of two nights rest between contests.
2.   The maximum number of contests shall be 10.
3.   Nine practices are required before the first scrimmage.
4.   Eleven practices are required before the first interschool contest.

Game Rules

1.   National Federation Rules

2.   The maximum length of the quarter shall be 15 minutes.

3.   Free substitution is permitted when the ball goes over the side line or end line.

4.   Equipment:

    a.   Only sneakers or shoes with molded soles and molded cleats are permitted in the modified program. Shoes with metal posts or spikes are not permitted in any modified sport.

    b.   Shin guards must be worn at all times by all players.

    c.   A mouthpiece shall be worn by the soccer goalie for protective purposes.

5.   One time out period per quarter (including each overtime period) may be called whenever the ball is dead. The coach is permitted on the field during the time out period to instruct the players.

6.   The sliding tackle is not permitted.

7.   The overhead scissors kick is not permitted.

8.   Corner flag post must be of a flexible nature and conform to the National Federation rule standard on not being less than five feet high. Plastic traffic cones may be substituted in place of corner flag posts.

9.   There shall be two overtime periods of four minutes when the regulation game ends in a tie. A coin shall be flipped prior to the first overtime period. If a tie still exists after the second overtime, no further play shall be conducted.

10.  In the event of a disqualification of a player, a substitution must be made for that disqualified player. If a team has no eligible substitute, the team may continue to play shorthanded.

11.  The flip throw-in is not permitted.

Section XI Rules

B Level Program - Five Period Format

The five period format is mandated for all B level teams in soccer. Playing an extra quarter is not an option for the B level program in Section XI.

Following are the conditions of this program:

1.   Only B level teams may participate.

2.   Teams shall be divided into two squads of equal numbers and equal ability.

3.   Coaches must exchange rosters prior to every contest.

4.   One squad will play the first and third periods and the other squad will play the second and fourth periods. All players are eligible for the fifth period.

5.   All goals scored count.

6.   Teams having the minimum numbers of 24 players are obligated to play five periods (unless on austerity) provided their opponents also meet the minimum number of 24.

7.   If teams have fewer than the minimum number of players but still can field two full teams, those teams may opt to play five periods. (If substitutes are used, note #8.)

8.   No players may play in more than three periods of a five period contest.

9.   There is no half-time intermission when five periods are played.

10.  Extra compensation forms presented by the officials must be signed by the home coach.

11.  Each coach is requested to make a notation on the rating card verifying the extra compensation for the officials.




1. Whenever weather or other conditions cause the official(s) to interrupt a contest, the official(s) shall make every reasonable effort to resume and complete the contest, with full consideration of the weather and site conditions (as they affect safety and playing conditions). The official(s) shall wait a minimum of 30 minutes from the time of the interruption before considering the cessation of play.

2. When thunder is identified at the site of an outdoor contest, the official(s) will suspend play immediately and wait a minimum of 30 minutes from the time of the interruption before considering the cessation of play. The official(s) will then make a decision whether to cease play for that day or resume the contest.

3. If lightning is observed at the site of an outdoor contest by the official(s) 15 or fewer minutes prior to the scheduled start of that contest, the official(s) and the responsible school authorities shall not permit that contest to be played on that date.

4. If lightning is observed at the site of an outdoor contest by the official(s) during the playing of the contest, the official(s) shall immediately cease play for the day. The rules of the particular sport shall determine whether the contest is "official" or must be resumed at a later date.



1. Thunder and lightning necessitates that contests be suspended. The occurrence of thunder
    and/or lightning is not subject to interpretation - thunder is thunder; lighting is lightning.

      A. With your site administrator, set up a plan for shelter prior to the start of any contest.

2. When thunder is heard and/or lightning is seen, the following procedures should be adhered to:

      A. Suspend play and direct participants to go to shelter, a building normally occupied by the
          public, or if a building is unavailable, participants should go inside a vehicle with a solid
          metal top (e.g.., bus, van, car).

      B. Do not permit people to stand under or near a tree, and have all stay away from
          poles, antennas, towers, and underground watering systems.

      C. After thunder and/or lightning has left the area, wait 30 minutes after the last boom is heard
          or strike is seen before resuming play or competition