The Iowa High School Athletic Association has adopted new guidelines for preseason football practices, effective in the coming season.
In December, the new regulations were approved by the Football Playoff Committee, which includes school administrators and members of the Iowa Football Coaches Association. Later, they were approved by the IHSAA's Board of Control.
Here are the new regulations during the preseason acclimatization period:
>> There shall be no more than one practice per day.
>> A practice is defined as a period of time in which a student participates in physical activity.
>> A practice cannot exceed three hours in length. Warm-up, stretching, speed and agility drills, strength training and cooldown are all considered part of a practice. Optional weight training activities that are available to all students are not considered part of the practice.
>> On the first two days of practice, helmets and mouth guards may be worn, and no activities that require protective equipment shall be done.
>> During days three through five, 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.
>> Starting on day six, all protective equipment may be worn and full-contact drills may begin.
>> 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.
“The health and safety of athletes is always everyone's number one priority, and these measures apply equally to all schools,” said Todd Tharp, assistant executive director of the IHSAA and administrator of football.
Four other items were approved by the Board of Control:
>> The IHSAA and the IFCA will work jointly to produce a football safety video.
>> Schools are now allowed to have a scrimmage with another school prior to the first legal playing date and after 10 days of practice.
>> In games in which the continuous clock is being used, the clock will stop for the administration of penalties.
>> The UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls will be used only for semifinal and championship contests, unless the host school uses the UNI-Dome as its primary home facility.