There was big news out of Bloomington, Illinois coming and I was getting fired up because the word on the street was they had been working with the Kory Stinger Institute and Sports Legacy Institute to create a new “football” policy. With my effort over the past two years to get the Illinois High School Association to look at and make some proactive changes to the way football is practiced, there was hope it had not fallen on deaf ears.
Well, the announcement/proposal is out… It’s a good first step; one that addresses the heat issues that plague football. Some highlights are;
- 14 day period that every player must go through to be eligible to play
- Strict guidelines on actual practice time and rest time during multiple practice days (traditionally 2-a-days)
- Set rest days
- Removal of “grey area” of weights/agilities/walk throughs
- Definition of scrimmages
- No matter what was done before the start of the season all must do the 14 day period
Moreover this proposal is very specific and makes very good sense in the area of heat acclimatization. Obviously you can see the hard work of KSI in the proposal, but where is SLI input? Some of the missing talking points I can think of from SLI are;
- 25 contact days in the “offseason”/”summer”
- Contact limits during practices
- Rest after contact days
As with most things, I am not privy to all the talking points or more of what is coming down the line, but I have tried to give the benefit of the doubt to the IHSA and their fine folks up there. I am hopeful that it is a first step in the right direction and I applaud the IHSA for taking this step; now the schools need to back this 100%.
Every heat related death is 100% preventable, this proposal takes a lot of loopholes out and makes the team/school accountable for the proper acclimatization.