Amid growing concern over concussions, the FHSAA has passed new regulations to limit the amount of hits endured by high school football players in practice.
To observe Child Safety Awareness Month this August, we'll be blogging about a variety of safety issues affecting Florida's children.
As the school year quickly approaches, high school football players across Florida are suiting up for practice and preparing for the new season. When you see them rush the opposing team, it can be easy to forget that they are still children under those helmets and pads. But they are still kids and they deserve to be protected - by their parents, coaches and the law.
To that end, the Florida High School Athletic Association recently implemented new rules governing contact in high school football practices. These regulations, which limit players' exposure to hits and tackles, is aimed at reducing head injuries to young players.
New rules to protect football players
High school football is responsible for nearly half of all sports-related concussions reported to the CDC. Of those injuries, about one third happen during practice. To battle these statistics, Florida has put several new rules into place:
- Contact drills and all-out scrimmages are not allowed during the first five days of practice.
- During the preseason, full-contact drills may only account for 40 minutes of practice time per day and may not be conducted two days in a row.
- During the regular season and postseason, live contact is limited to 30 minutes per day and 80 minutes per week.
- Coaches are required to file written practice plans with the FHSAA to demonstrate their compliance with these rules.
Playing football will always carry some inherent risk, but the FHSAA hopes that these measures will minimize the risk to high school students.
Are your kids getting ready for school athletics? Have you talked to them about saying safe? Share your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned for more posts about child safety this month.