A rule requiring high school basketball coaches in Iowa to remain in their seats during games has been lifted.
According to the Sioux City Journal, the elimination of the “seat belt” rule was approved by the Iowa High School Athletic Association IHSAA and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU), and allows coaches to stand within the designated coaching box as described in the National Federation High School Basketball rule book.
The coaching box is a 14-foot area in the middle of a 42-foot half court. Coaches in Iowa are free to prowl that area to give instructions to their team, or to get the attention of officials.
IGHSAU assistant director Joel Oswald says that the change will make monitoring coaches easier for officials.
“Now we’re not worried about if a coach is standing up,” Oswalt told the Sioux City Journal. “The previous rule, the coach couldn’t stand up and ask an official a simple question. It handcuffed both the officials and the coaches. Now if they stand up and act like an idiot, they’re going to get a technical foul.”
Under the new rule, coaches that are issued technical fouls will lose the privilege to stand during the game, and must then remain seated throughout the contest.
“The administrative staffs of the IGHSAU and IHSAA recognize the additional freedom this provides head coaches to coach their athletes,” said a press release issued jointly by IHSAA and IGHSAU. “It is of the utmost importance that coaches understand the privilege that is being afforded them and the responsibility that comes with it. It is the expectation of the IHSAA, the IGHSAU, the IBCA and the Basketball Advisory Committees that this freedom be guarded carefully within the coaching fraternity and exercised diligently by the officials calling the games.”