As your pulse quickens in the immediate aftermath of a pregame dunk during a high school contest, you have to resist the urge to let your mind race like a student staring at an exam question and exclaiming, ‘I didn’t know that was going to be on the test!!’
Move the rule changes and Points of Emphasis for this season that were uppermost in your mind to one side of your brain and focus on how the dunking deed will impact Team A.
Keep in mind that scholastic basketball rules are like a bird in your hand. If you hold them too loose, you have no control and the game can easily fly away from you. If you hold them too tightly, you choke the life out of the game.
Knowing the rules will give you the confidence to calmly and confidently apply them to a situation where there is no doubt, in your opinion, that a rule infraction occurred.
If there is some debate that the rule violation occurred – in this scenario, a pregame dunk– then you pass on enforcing the rule (i.e. you did not see the player dunk; or in your determination it was not a dunk, just an aggressive layup.)
The impulse to avoid a scenario that starts the game on a sour note is understandable; but officials don’t cause these scenarios, we clean them up.
To that end, under NFHS rules…