MSHSL reviewing summer football practices

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 11, 2013 - 6:30 PM

Currently, coaches are free to hold as many contact practices as they wish in June and July.

Heightened awareness of concussions and athlete safety nationwide has the Minnesota State High School League reviewing the frequency and length of summer football contact practices.
 
At Thursday’s league board meeting in Brooklyn Center, associate director Kevin Merkle laid out summer football contact practice guidelines for the board to consider implementing in 2014. Currently, coaches are free to hold as many contact practices as they wish in June and July.
 
Merkle said potential guidelines include practicing for at least three days in helmets plus two additional days in full pads before allowing contact. Fall practices currently use this model. One difference would be requiring coaches to reacclimate players to contact at summer practices if more than three consecutive days pass without contact.
 
Contact practices are any in which there is physical contact between players in helmets and pads, regardless of whether they tackle to the ground. The Summer Coaching Waiver period takes place in June in July, with the exception of a no-contact period the week of July 4.
 
Another guideline would limit coaches to holding no more than seven contact practices during the summer. The use of blocking or tackling sleds or dummies would not count as contact practices.
 
Merkle is also proposing a maximum practice length of three hours, with no more than two hours spent on the field.
 
 
“I don’t know of many coaches out there who would be abusing this right now,” Merkle said. “I think most football coaches here know there is nothing good about beating the kids up in the summer. But we also cannot assume everyone does it the right way because that is not always the case.”
 
Merkle said if the guidelines were approved, Minnesota’s summer practice model would remain among the nation’s most liberal.
 
“Some states don’t allow equipment,” Merkle said. “Some only also helmets and shoulder pads."
 
While coaches Brad Anderson of Wayzata and Dave Nelson of Minnetonka differ on their summer practice philosophies, both agreed player safety is paramount.
 
Anderson said his Trojans have never worn helmets or shoulder pads in the summer. Teaching footwork and agility, he said, does not require equipment.
 
“You want to be careful about extending the season,” Anderson said. “When you put on equipment, that changes things. It becomes more competitive.”
 
Nelson concurred with Merkle’s belief that most coaches effectively self-regulate their contact practices. The Skippers, Nelson said, practice 14 times during the summer and wear full pads six times. The other eight practices are in helmets and shoulder pads. Nelson said throwing and catching in pads better prepares players for game conditions.
 
“We’ve cut back over time,” Nelson said. “This summer we will have two fewer practices than last year. And we go about an hour to 90 minutes.”
 
The MSHSL Board also made formal Thursday:
 
The 2014 boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments will change order, with the boys’ going first. Scheduling conflicts at Target Center begin next year when the National Collegiate Hockey Conference starts using the arena for its postseason tournament. The NCHC has a five-year contract with the Target Center.
 
New classifications and section assignments in all sports for the next two seasons. The two highest profile moves are Totino-Grace opting up two classes to compete in Class 6A football and St. Thomas Academy, winners of the past three consecutive Class 1A boys’ hockey state champions, opting up to Class 2A.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close