North Carolina rule changes address football practices, drones

North Carolina high schools will have new rules to follow this year when it comes to football practices and the use of drones at sporting events.

NCHSAAAmong the changes approved by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Board of Director is a limit of 60 minutes on full-contact action in practices during game week. That doesn’t including “thudding,” which is defined as hitting while wearing shoulder pads and a helmet without taking the opponent to the ground.

If a team holds two preseason practices during the week, only one can include full contact.

The idea of limiting contact at football practices is one that’s becoming more popular in several states. New Jersey made changes earlier this year, and California passed a similar measure last summer. A study published earlier this week by JAMA Pediatrics found that 58 percent of concussions in high school and college occur during practices.

Another rule approved by the NCHSAA prohibits the use of drones. The flying devices were becoming more popular with schools to film games, practices or just take photos of events. The board of directors felt the risks were too great, as a fan could be seriously injured if a drone fell from the sky and into the stands.

Drones are now banned at all stadiums, fields and arenas during games. However, they can still be used at practices.

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