The Rule on Calling Timeouts

In High School, can a player in control of the ball call time out while going out of bounds?

The short answer, is yes, a player or coach can request a time out.  In high school, the NFHS rulebook Rule 5-8-3 states, “Grants and signals a player’s/head coach’s oral or visual request for a time-out, such request being granted only when: a. The ball is at the disposal or in control of a player of his/her team.  b.  The ball is dead, unless replacement of a disqualified, or injured player(s), or a player directed to leave the game is pending, and a substitute(s) is available and required.”


Play Analysis

This means that anytime there is team control, a request for time out should be granted.  Now the confusion comes in because of how the rules change at the college level.  NCAA men’s rules have an exception for calling time out when the player’s momentum is causing them to go out of bounds.  Rule 5-15-1c states, “No time outs shall be granted  to a player or coach when the momentum of an airborne player in control of the ball is carrying him out of bounds or into the backcourt.”


This rule does not apply to NFHS!  It is important to be aware of the rule differences between what we watch on TV and the rule set we are trying to enforce in an NFHS game.  In the following play, the coach is calling for the time out as his player is falling out of bounds, while in control of the ball.

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