This year's Super Bowl was an occasion for an unusual amount of commentary on the state of football safety, especially concussions.

One group called on state high school associations and football coaches associations to eliminate contact outside the defined interscholastic season.  That would mean spring football practice, and during summer leagues and camps, and at all-star games.

Michigan is one of a large majority of states where schools do not allow spring football practice.  Michigan is one of a minority of states where schools do not allow contact at summer camps, for which we are often criticized by out-of-state camp promoters.  And Michigan is one of a smaller minority of states where schools prohibit students, coaches, officials and administrators from being involved in all-star games involving undergraduates.

While we are well ahead of the curve on out-of-season contact policies, we are in the mainstream of state high school associations studying what the appropriate limits should be on contact during early season football practice and throughout the remainder of the season.  We have a task force that appears headed toward recommending that the Representative Council prescribe only one contact session per day during early season practice and only two contact practices per week after games begin.

There will be other ideas percolating and then simmering with these before any are proposed to the MHSAA Football Committee and Representative Council.


Clay Pelham
# Clay Pelham
Saturday, March 2, 2013 6:36 AM
I believe we need to slow down and put more dicussion into these "actions". Football has already had preseason practices cut down from 3 weeks to less then 2 weeks. Who is on this "Council"? I agree with being smart about contact, but this might be too much.
Our jobs as coaches is to make sure all the young men that play for us are trained and properly taught how to use the equipment given them. If more of our time with this aspect is taken away, the more risk of injury can occur. Your gonna put kids in a competition with only 7 "sessions" of contact? That spells trouble.
We have a hard enough time getting ALL aspects of the sport into the time we have now. I believe we as coaches are being ignored in this whole process...again. THIS IS A CONTACT SPORT...the kids need to know how to deal and adapt to this contact. I hope I'm not the only one who steps up and says something. Our sport is being taken away slowly and surely.
Jim Hansen
# Jim Hansen
Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:33 PM
No, you do not have it right. I couldn't agree more with all of the disagreements that have been posted on this website. Football is a collision sport. It is imperative that we provide the safest equipment for our kids and teach them the safest techniques. But these two things alone are nothing without allowing the kids to practice hitting and getting hit. Removing that time is going to have the opposite effect. More kids will get injured. You recently wrote a post about how the NFL shot themselves in the foot...that is exactly what you and the MHSAA are doing. These new guidelines will not make the game safer. In not other sport would this train of thought make any sense at all. Take wrestling for example. Try telling kids and coaches that they cannot wrestle live in practice for two weeks before competitions start and once they start they can only wrestle live once a week because they might get injured. This entire thought process is ridiculous and not medically sound.

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