There is less than a week before the fall athletic practices begin for Kansas high schools who are members of the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
And there are a number of new preseason practice rules that are being implemented.
At its April 27 Board of Directors meeting, KSHSAA approved by a vote of 63-1 new practice rules regarding heat acclimatization.
The implementation of these rules came as a result of a nearly two-year process of evaluation and discussion among the KSHSAA Executive Board and Board of Directors, the KSHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and feedback from member schools during the fall 2017 regional meetings.
One of the significant findings was that during summer months exertional heat stroke is the leading cause of catastrophic athletic injury. The new rules follow guidelines that have been published and endorsed by the country’s leading sports medicine organizations. A gradual and progressive system of early season practices, combined with adequate rest periods, can better reduce the risk of exertional heat stroke in athletes.
The new rules are effective on Monday, the first day of fall practices.
Rule 30-1-8 reads as follows:
Art. 8: Beginning Monday of School Calendar Week No. 7, the following practice rules apply to football, boys and girls cross country, boys soccer, girls volleyball, girls gymnastics, girls tennis and girls golf:
a. Only one practice per day is permitted the first 5 days of practice. All individuals shall only practice once per day for the first five days the individual practices, no matter when the person joins the team or if the person misses days due to injury/illness.
b. No single practice may last longer than 3 hours. All warm-up, stretching, conditioning and weight lifting is included as part of the 3 hour limit.
c. A separate walkthrough is permitted in addition to the single practice. The walkthrough cannot be longer than 1 hour and must be separated from practice by at least 3 hours of rest. A walkthrough is defined as a teaching opportunity with the athletes in which no protective equipment is worn. No physically exerting activity, including any conditioning or weight lifting, may take place during the walkthrough.
d. Beginning on practice day 6, double practice sessions are permitted for any individual who has completed 5 days of single practices. Double practice sessions cannot be held on consecutive days. The day following a double practice day would be either a single practice day or a rest/recovery day.
e. On days of multiple practices, no single practice may last longer than 3 hours and total practice time combined shall not exceed 5 hours.
f. To be deemed a practice, a majority of the squad members must participate in the organized team training session.
In regards to heat acclimatization and player safety, Football Rule 35-1-1 has also been modified as follows:
e. Players must have a minimum of one day of rest/recovery during any week (Sunday- Saturday), beginning Monday of School Calendar Week No. 7 through No. 21. Only injury treatments are permitted on a rest/recovery day.
f. Week One Guidelines (SCW No. 7):
· Days 1 & 2 of practice: Helmets only (Air and Bags only are permitted.)
· Days 3 & 4 of practice: Helmets and shoulder pads are permitted. (Day 3: Control permitted; Day 4: Thud permitted .
· Day 5 through Saturday of SCW No. 9 of practice: Full Contact (Air, Bags, Control, Thud and Live Action are permitted) may begin with the following guidelines: On any day involving multiple practices, only one practice may involve Thud and/or Live Action.
For more information, go to http://www.kshsaa.org/Public/PDF/HAInfo.pdf for a printable version of these new rules as well as some frequently asked questions that may assist you and your coaches.