The National Federation of State High School Associations announced Thursday several rule changes for football and soccer aimed to make competition safer.

In football, the NFSA revealed its defintion of "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.” The association also definied "defenseless player" in an attempt to eliminate hits on "a player who, because of his physical position and focus of concentration, is especially vulnerable to injury." Such contact will be penalized beginning next school year.

Another rule change will require at least four players to be on each side of the ball during kickoffs, and no player other than the kicker may line up for a kickoff more than 5 yards behind the spot of the kick.

In soccer, the NFSA will require goalkeepers to leave the field if an official stops the clock because of an apparent injury to the goalkeeper. A previous rule required any player except the goalkeeper to leave the field when he or she was injured and the clock was stopped; the new rule eliminates the exemption for goalkeepers. Under the new guideline, any player on the field or a substitute may replace the goalkeeper until he or she re-enters the game.

The NFSA also announced broader authorities for officials in both sports. The association will allow each state to require football officials to be on the field 30 minutes prior to kickoff. In soccer, officials will be granted authority as soon as they arrive at the field.

All rule changes for both sports will take effect at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.