Freedom of Movement is a key concern of the NFHS rules committee and the illegal use of hands on the dribbler must be enforced.


Rule 4.24, Hands and Arms, Legal and Illegal Use.  Article 7 states, “It is not legal to use the arm and/or forearm to prevent an opponent from attacking the ball during a dribble or when throwing for a goal.”  The points of emphasis over the past couple of years has focused on what the defensive player is not allowed to do.  In the following play, the defender fouls the offensive player when she touches, and then later in the play, places her elbow on the offensive player.


This contact is minimal, but is a good example of applying this rule in the strictest terms.


A quick word on mechanics 

The official in this video correctly rules a foul, but signals a block.  When a defender is trying to keep an offensive player from advancing, they must get their body to get in front of the defender in legal position before making contact. If they are not able to get legal position, then it is a blocking foul when contact with the body occurs. However, if they attempt to keep the offensive player from advancing with their arms, or hands, it should be ruled a hand check.


To build credibility with coaches, we must not only make the call but must also make the correct ruling.  If you call the foul for illegal use of hands, report the hand check.