By Travis Morgan
Boone, IA -
New guidelines for pre-season football practices have been explained to Iowa High School Athletic Association member school's athletic directors and administrators and will go into effect this fall.
The new measures incorporate many of the recommendations from research and studies by the medical community relative to the length of practice, the amount of contact in pre-season drills, and the acclimization of young athletes.
In December, the new regulations were discussed and approved by the Football Playoff Committee, a group representing school administrators and the Iowa Football Coaches Association. The regulations were approved by the Board of Control and in March explained to the Representative Council.
Specifically, the new regulations during the acclimatization period that effect the state's 342 programs and 21,200 athletes addresses the following areas:
(1) There shall be no more than one practice per day.
(2) A practice is defined as a period of time in which a student participates in physical activity.
(3) A practice cannot exceed three (3) hours in length. Warm-up, stretching, speed and agility rules, strength training, and cool down are all considered part of a practice. Optional weight training activities that are available to all students are not considered part of the practice.
(4) On the first two (2) days of practice helmets and mouth guards may be worn and no activities that require protective equipment shall be done.
(5) During days three through five (3-5), helmets, mouth guards, and shoulder pads may be worn and contact with blocking sleds, tackling dummies and technique drills for blocking and tackling may begin, but no full contact. Above the waist contact between players focusing on proper tackling and blocking techniques may occur.
(6) Starting on day six (6), all protective equipment may be worn and full contact drills may begin.
(7) The first two Sundays during the 14-day acclimatization period shall be days of complete rest (no practice, stretching, conditioning, speed and agility drills, strength training, etc.)