All questions, unless otherwise indicated, are answered by Steve Horgan, our nation's rules interpreter. If you have a question, please look through the questions that have already been answered. If your question hasn't been asked, please use this form to submit your question.
Q: Time-outs for high school are a total length of 90 seconds. When the umpire blows her whistle and signals the time-out, when does the 90 second clock begin ticking? Does it begin rightaway or only after the teams are huddled?
A: The 90-second time-out begins immediately. The total time without play should be 90 seconds. The manner in which a team uses the time-out period is a coaching decision. There is no requirement for either team to huddle.
Q: In high school play, two 90 second timeouts are available to both teams. A warning whistle is blown at 60 seconds so that teams can be set to start play when 90 seconds has elapsed. Are umpires in order to signal "time on" when 90 seconds has elapsed or are we obliged to wait until the teams do "their thing" then amble in to position?
A: It is never in order to start the game while a team is not on the field and in position. But, delaying to return to play after a timeout in NFHS games is misconduct by the coach and penalized accordingly. In NCAA games the captain is held accountable for this misconduct should it occur.