Leading off today:
It's a proactive step toward addressing a serious safety topic, but good luck to high school football officials in trying to enforce a rule next season that neither college nor pro officials have been able to call with very much consistency the past two years.
Seeking to reduce contact above the shoulders, the National Federation of State High School Associations football rules committee this week announced a definition for "targeting," which will be penalized as illegal personal contact beginning in 2014.
New Rule 2-43 defines targeting as "an act of taking aim and initiating contact to an opponent above the shoulders with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulders." In addition, the committee redefined "defenseless player." Rule 2-32-16 will read as: "A defenseless player is a player who, because of his physical position and focus of concentration, is especially vulnerable to injury."
The other significant change related to safety is a two-part adjustment to what the kicking team is allowed to do during onside kick attempts: At least four players must be lined up on either side of the kicker, minimizing the ability to "load up" one side of the field, and only the kicker may get a running start from more than five yards behind the free-kick line.
More rules: If an injury to a goalkeeper appears serious enough for the referee to stop the clock, that player will now have to come off the field according to a measure approved this week by the NFHS soccer rules committee.
The mandatory substitution rule had previously applied only to field players.
"The committee wanted to make sure that players who were apparently injured were evaluated by a coach or an appropriate health-care professional," said Mark Koski, the NFHS liaison to the committee. "The overriding concern is minimizing risk to all students."
Working extra hard: Sophomore winger Lina Mirabella scored the winning goal 2:27 into double overtime to lead Kenmore to the Section 6 girls ice hockey championship with a 2-1 victory against Lancaster/Iroquois.
Mirabella also scored the winning goal in the 2011 sectional final as a seventh-grader.
Kenmore became the first team in the four-year history of the Federation to win the Federation and sectional championships. Kenmore beat Lancaster/Iroquois 2-1 in the Federation final earlier this month.
NYC legend retires: The winningest coach in PSAL history is calling it a career at the age of 79. Charles Granby of Campus Magnet made his retirement official following a 76-33 loss to Cardozo on Feb. 8.
"I coached here for 45 years, and I can't think of one bad memory," Granby told The New York Times. "It's always a better idea to leave later rather than earlier. This way there are no regrets."
Campus Magnet, formerly known as Andrew Jackson High, finished 4-11 in the league this year and with seven wins overall. Granby's final total on 722 wins ranks third on the state's all-time list behind Archbishop Molloy great Jack