National Federation of State High School Association Talks COVID, Shot Clock and Football

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – NFHS Directof Karissa Niehoff hosted the national press on Thursday, May 20, to discuss a number of issues facing high school sports around the nation. The NFHS is the national arm of the Oregon Schools Activities Association.

Niehoff started the conversation discussing race and culture in high school sports. Due to recent incidents of athletes being forced to cut hair to participate in activities, the NFHS will be looking at new rules, primarily in the June 14 meeting for softball.

Currently beads or feathers are not allowed in softball. Niehoff said that ruling could change soon.

On a subject has already reported, Niehoff discussed the national decision to allow states the choice on shot clocks in basketball. Current concerns for the states include additional cost of a separate clock, training personnel to run the clock and if a clock would hinder learning the game at the freshman level.

“We have no plans to make the shot clock national,” Niehoff said.

One possible problem, especially to eastern Oregon teams, is traveling to a state like Idaho or Washington if a shot clock is implemented there and not in Oregon.

Niehoff made on point clear on the subject of vaccinations for athletes.

“The NFHS will not mandate student athletes to have the COVID vaccine to play,” she said. “The issue of vaccines will be returned back to the states and districts.”

The NFHS is going forward with a program designed to inform and return athletes back to the football field.

“We want to restore confidence in the game,” said Niehoff. “Speaking for all sports, we think it will be two or three years before participation numbers return to normal.”

The program is in cooperation with the National Football League.