Illinois Eliminates Full-Pad Drills During Summer Football Practices
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors announced the results of a special legislative session vote by the IHSA membership on a bylaw modifying allowable summer football activities at their regularly scheduled meeting on April 22.The revised version of the bylaw eliminates full-pad football activities in the summer and defines allowable practice activities. It passed by a vote of 170-87.
“The vote reflects much of what we have heard from coaches on this issue,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “We had some individuals who opposed eliminating full contact from summer football activities, but the majority of the people we talked to said this change would not affect them. Given that about half of our football playing schools voted, we believe that many abstained knowing their summer practice plans would not be altered regardless of the result of the voting.”
“We believe this revision minimizes risk to football student-athletes, while allowing for the teaching of appropriate fundamentals,” said Hickman. “This is another important step in making high school football as safe as possible, while putting all of our schools on an even playing field regarding football activities during the summer.”
At its February meeting, the IHSA Board authorized a special meeting of the Legislative Commission to consider this bylaw proposal.
The Legislative Commission met in a special session on March 18 where they approved moving the bylaw forward to an all-school ballot vote by the IHSA membership between March 19 and April 21.
The IHSA will hold educational webinars for coaches and administrators to clarify the new bylaw and answer questions on it. Coaches and administrators will be contacted with more information on the webinars in the coming days.