The Florida High School Athletic Association on Monday announced limitations on live contact for football practices starting this fall, according to a news release.
The new procedure, which goes into effect Aug. 1 to coincide with the first practice day of the 2016 high school football season, is designed to improve player safety.
Live contact, defined as drills with game-like conditions where players are taken to the ground, is restricted to 30 minutes per day and 80 minutes in total each week.
Live contact also won’t occur on more than two consecutive days or exceed three practice days per week.
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That change, though, is something most Manatee County coaches already practice. For example, Thursdays in the fall typically are considered walk-through practices following scripts for Friday night’s games.
“That’s pretty much in line with what we’ve been doing anyway,” Palmetto head coach Dave Marino said. “So it shouldn’t be that much of a transition for us.”
The new procedural implementation also requires head coaches to have a written practice plan in advance of each practice that is maintained at the school for at least 12 months, and is made available upon request.
“It’s just now proof-positive that we’re taking the kids best interest to heart and providing proper structures for safety,” Marino said.