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Calif. to examine new restrictions on full-contact football practices

January 17, 2018 / Football
California this spring could cut in half the amount of time high school football coaches can run full-contact practices.

As it stands, the state’s football teams are allowed to conduct full-contact practices two days per week with no more than 90 minutes of contact per session, totaling 180 minutes each week. The proposed change would reduce that to 45 minutes for each practice and no more than 90 minutes of contact per week.

According to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the proposal will be discussed at its February meeting with an anticipated vote coming in April.

From the CIF’s latest newsletter:

  • This reduction will bring California in line with the rest of the country as the national average for full contact each week is 90 minutes.
  • The proposal has the unanimous support of the CIF State Football Advisory Committee.
  • The 10 Section commissioners unanimously supported moving this proposal forward to the CIF State Executive Committee for their consideration.
  • When asked about full contact practice taking place at their own schools or at other schools in their Sections, no member of the Football Advisory Committee believed that any program was currently using more than 90 minutes per week. In fact, the general consensus of the group was that most coaches were using much less than 90 minutes per week.

A two-year study, published in 2016, concluded that the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s (MHSAA) limited-contact rules resulted in a 42-percent decline in head impacts. Linemen experience the biggest drop (46 percent), followed by receivers, cornerbacks and safeties (41 percent).

Researchers planned to conduct similar studies with high school football teams in other states.

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