Here is the history "lesson" about how this play was interpreted by the NFHS..In looking for a specific rule..it is compiled from several rules including the definitions for an intentional and flagrant foul, excessive contact..etc.
Several years ago, there was a major point of emphasis on elbow contact and there seems to be some hesitation in how we rule on this contact. Is it a common foul? Intentional Foul? Flagrant Foul?
To help clean up these types of plays in 2012 the NFHS issued a “Point of Emphasis” (POE) on “Contact Above the Shoulders.” It focused on illegal contact from a moving elbow where such contact was above the shoulders.
The NFHS emphasized this contact would result in either an INTENTIONAL foul or FLAGRANT foul – based on specific criteria.
The ultimate goal was to reduce the frequency of concussions and decrease excessive contact situations.
Moving forward to 2013-14 where NFHS further clarified in a POE the two varieties of this contact.
Rule an INTENTIONAL Foul when contact above the shoulders is NOT the result of EXCESSIVELY SWINGING the ELBOWS – but in past seasons might have been ruled a common player control foul.
Rule a FLAGRANT Foul when contact above the shoulders is the result of EXCESSIVELY SWINGING the ELBOWS
Remember, in scholastic contests, when a player “excessively swings” their elbows, at a minimum, a violation should be ruled even if NO CONTACT is made.
If the contact is the result of excessive swinging prior to the official stopping play (for a violation) then a flagrant foul may be ruled – unless the contact is judged to be “slight of nature.”