The 2012-13 fall sports season is officially under way, with approximately 110,000 student-athletes in Michigan starting practice in eight sports regulated by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Practice began for Michgan's football players on Aug. 6, followed by all other fall sports — from cross country to boys tennis — on Aug. 8.
Before the first whistle, the Dearborn area's student football players will have to pay attention to several significant rule changes for the 2012 season:
- On passing plays, a receiver must first contact and establish control of the ball while inbounds – regardless of the opponent’s action. In other words, a catch cannot be ruled on plays where the receiver may have come down in bounds if not for the action of the defender.
- If a player’s helmet comes off during a play, and did not occur as a result of a foul by the opponent, that player must leave the game for one play, unless it happens on the final play of a half or an overtime.
- Hand contact by a blocker below the waist of a defender is now considered blocking below the waist.
- The kicking team may not contact a member of the receiving team on a kickoff until the ball has traveled 10 yards, or unless a member of the receiving team initiates the contact.
- Jerseys of the visiting team must be white in color, and home jerseys are restricted in the use of white for varsity competition. This was a rule change made in 2007 for implementation this season.
All Dearborn varsity teams will start their football seasons in August. The 2012 football season culminates with post-season tournaments beginning Oct. 1, and wraps up with the football playoff finals on Nov. 23-24.