(Renton, WA) The WIAA Representative Assembly met on Monday and ultimately passed six amendments. For the link to all 6 amendments and full text Click Here. The most intriguing of the amendments passed was a change to Football practices limiting teams to 2 days of live contact practice per week after the 1st game or jamboree a team plays in.
This is what is happening nationally trying to reduce serious injuries in the game. However, it does not go as far as the NFL. The Pro’s are severely limited to just 14 full contact practices per season including their training camps. Some observer’s believe this plan actually has increased injuries. The theory is that too few full contact practices does not prepare players for the full speed game action and players are more susceptible to injury. There is no official stats on that theory but High Schools are looking for a fair balance.
The new rules allow teams 2 days of full live contact and/or thud level of practice. Thud is defined as initial contact, above the waste and a quick whistle. Full live contact allows players to be taken to the ground and played at real time game speed.
ESN talked with WF West Head Football Coach Bob Wollan and asked if this policy would change his weekly routine and he told us absolutely not and in fact didn’t know any program that it would change too much. Wollan says on a regular week with a Friday night game is on Monday they review film, insert the game plan and do some light work and conditioning. Wollan says Tuesday and Wednesday is when the bulk of the preparation takes place and on Thursday is very light and mostly walk-through and review of assignments.
Wollan says it may impact teams that have a Saturday game giving them an extra day of practice but other than that he doesn’t believe the new rule will have much impact on most programs. Wollan says he is not speaking for all teams but the ones he is familiar with this policy likely won’t be a big impact.
The other rule changes include wrestlers will have more uniform choices to compete in including a 2-piece and schools with 104 or less student count can use 8th graders to fill their High School squads.
Another amendment appears to be a reminder to schools to be compliant with all WIAA rules and regulations. This seems to be more of a statement to all schools that following the rules is the school’s responsibility. This no doubt was spurred on by the recent Bellevue football scandal where it was found the team had been breaking rules for years. There were concerns about this program for years prior to this outside investigation that blew open this whole scandal. There are rumblings about many other schools that may be skirting the rules and this amendment is serving as a warning for those who may be crossing the line to clean up their practices.