Local Sports Journal

Thousands of athletes around the state of Michigan get an early start to the school year this week with fall sports practices beginning.

Football, cross country, boys soccer, girls golf, boys tennis, girls swimming and volleyball all have practices beginning this week.

On Monday football starts and the MHSAA has a few rule changes.

Pass interference will no longer be an automatic first down if against the defense, nor does it result in a loss of down if against the offense.

If a player’s helmet comes off during a play, it is illegal for the player to participate and a 15-yard penalty is administered if that player continues to participate in a play. A personal foul and 15-yard penalty is flagged if a player from the opposing team initiates contact with a player whose helmet has come off.

On a catch, a receiver whose forward progress is stopped and is carried out of bounds by a defender will be ruled a legal catch. If the airborne receiver is contacted and driven out of bounds, the result of the play is an incomplete pass.

Following a penalty on the kicking team for interference on a fair catch, the receiving team can opt to take a free kick after the 15-yard penalty has been enforced.

In Soccer, a player who receives a second yellow card and the subsequent red card is disqualified from the game. In addition to the player being ejected from the contest, that team will have to continue the game short one player.

A player receiving a yellow card must leave the game immediately, but now may reenter at the next available opportunity. Before a player would have to sit out for 10 minutes after receiving a yellow card.

Those are the major rules changes this year by the MHSAA.

Get out and cheer your teams on and don’t forget to order the Local Sports Journal’s 2013 football tab today.