May 5, 2015Oregon Cracks Down On Football Contact
This week, the Oregon School Activities Association placed even tighter restrictions on the amount of contact allowed in high school football practices. A year ago, it voted to reduce contact practices to three days a week. Under the new rule, teams will be limited to just 90 minutes of contact per week, with only one contact session allowed during two-a-days.
Approved Monday by the association’s Executive Board, the new rules are based on recommendations from the OSAA’s sports medicine advisory committee and are in line with recommendations from a National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) special task force, which met last summer. Also approved was a proposal calling for football coaches be certified by the USA Football Heads Up program, which will be recommended for the 2015 season and required for 2016.
“I want to give the sports medicine advisory committee credit in that they’re out in front of some of these recommendations already,” OSAA Assistant Executive Director Brad Garrett told The Oregonian.
Meanwhile, the Executive Board chose to table the sports medicine advisory committee’s proposal to limit player participation to five quarters per week and four per day. The proposal was sent back to the medical committee for further review and the OSAA plans to get more input from coaches before the executive board re-examines it as during its July workshop.
The proposal has been met with resistance from many of the state’s small school football coaches, who believe it could hinder them from fielding junior varsity teams.
“I think we need to be open to some amendment that makes sense in the state of Oregon,” Howard Rub, Head Coach at Astoria High School, told The Oregonian. “To make a blanket statement that less is more doesn’t necessarily make sense.”