A few might say that I am one of the area’s all-time greats. I was always legit. I dominated the local camp circuit in the early ’90s. Tons of ribbons. Several certificates. A handful of trophies and fancy plaques. Yes. I was the self-proclaimed free throw shooting king.
Foul shooting has always been an important part of the game. I was quite good. I have made a lot more than I have missed. A perfect 10 for 10 against Montoursville once. Yes. I still look back on my 9th-grade playing days. I recall another contest. My only high school miss. It was our senior night. We were rolling as the Millionaires were on a 12-game streak. I got some PT late in the fourth quarter. We were up 25, and that was the only reason. I captured a rebound and was fouled in the backcourt with seconds remaining. I was a perfect 7 for 7 from the stripe that season. I vividly remember my man Larry Bassett saying. JAMIE SPENCER to the line to shoot ONE annnnnnnd ONE. I wasn’t nervous. Two dribbles and a spin.
The organization that writes the rulebook has changed the way fouls are counted and the number of bonuses. Most notably, the National Federation of State High School Associations has eliminated one-and-ones from its basketball rules for the next season. Players will now shoot two foul shots in the bonus.
The NFHS also changed the way team fouls are recorded. They are now counted on a quarter-by-quarter basis rather than by half. Under the new rule, teams will reach the bonus and receive two free throws starting with the fifth foul of a quarter. A team’s foul total resets to zero after every quarter. Previously, teams were awarded a one-and-one bonus when an opponent committed seven fouls in a half. They didn’t receive the two-shot bonus until the opponent reached ten.
“I think this is the most significant rule change in high school hoops,” former coach now official Nick Tagliaferri said. “Probably since the three-point line was instituted. It will take some time to get used to. But ultimately, I think you will see a better flow.”
The NFHS basketball committee approved the rule change in April. The organization cited game flow and injury prevention among its motivations. The PIAA typically adopts the rulebook changes, but they are not enacted automatically. PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi was unavailable for comment. We used to be friends.
“The committee studied tons of data,” explained NFHS spokeswoman Lindsay Atkinson in a statement. “We believe that resetting the fouls each quarter will improve game flow and allow teams to adjust their play by not carrying totals to quarters two and four. Studies also showed a higher percentage of injuries occurring during rebounding situations. We see this as an opportunity to reduce rough play during dead ball rebounds.”
A few other local coaches chimed in. I heard back from most. Several were positive.
“I am all for anything to get to the college game,” Loyalsock’s Curtis Jacobson mentioned. “Players need to understand the effects of a silly foul and putting a player on the line for two now. Obviously, the one-and-one gives the losing teams more of a chance. I am still unsure how it will change our approach from a coaching standpoint. I guess time will tell.”
“I kinda like it,” SJNRA boss Louis Roskowski said. “Honestly. This will encourage teams to attack the basket instead of relying on the outside. I think it is a great change. Rewarding the team after five fouls each quarter is a sound ideal.”
Yes. I missed the last front end of my scholastic career. I felt terrible. Even to this day. But I have made several since. I still cash in and hustle at the local playgrounds for fun. Just ask my former players. Even some of Jensen’s friends. Overall. I think this is a good move. Eliminating the one-and-one bonus in the high school game. Cheers.