BOONE - The Iowa High School Athletic Association is following suit with a nationwide trend that aims at making the game of football safer and less violent.
After an approval from the Football Playoff Committee and then by the Board of Control, the IHSAA has announced one of many changes to high school football around Iowa is doing away with two-a-day practices.
"We had great discussions with the football committee and representatives of the coaches association," assistant executive director of the IHSAA Todd Tharp said. "The health and safety of athletes is always everyone's number one priority and those measures apply equally to all schools."
The 342 programs and 21,200 student-athletes will be limited to one practice per day, practices that do not exceed three hours and teams can only wear helmets and mouth guards in the first two practices of the season.
The IHSAA press release sent out Wednesday goes into more detail about how practices are to be run, what guidelines go with those practices and rules within each practice.
The release says that the warm-up, stretching, speed and agility training, strength training and cool down are all a part of the three-hour length but optional weight training activities that are available do not count within the three hours and are allowed.
Also stated in the release is that full contact is not allowed in the first five days of practice. Days three through five can feature helmets, mouth guards and shoulder pads and contact with tackling dummies, blocking sleds and technique drills for blocking and tackling may begin, but full contact is not allowed.
Full contact drills can begin on the sixth practice each season.
The new rules set out by the IHSAA is outlined in a 14-day acclimatization period at the start of the season. And in those 14 days, the first two Sundays of the season must be days of complete rest.
Other items approved by the Board of Control relating to high school football include:
The IHSAA and Football Coaches Association will work jointly to produce a football safety video.
Schools are not allowed to have a scrimmage with another school prior to the first legal playing date and after 10 days of practice.
In games where the continuous clock is being used, the clock will stop for the administration of penalties.
The UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls will be used only for semifinals and championship round contests unless the host school uses the UNI-Dome as their primary home facility.