CARA Rules During the Preseason Practice Period

As many football teams will report to campus this week, followed by other fall sports in the coming days, it is important to provide a quick update regarding where Bylaw 17 stands for purposes of CARA and RARA during the fall preseason period.

First, fall sports do not have daily/weekly CARA limits during the preseason practice period prior to the first day of classes or the first scheduled contest, whichever is earlier (see Bylaw 17.1.7.3.4). This means that these teams do not have the daily four hour or weekly twenty hour limitations during the preseason period.

Second, beginning this year, teams will need to provide student-athletes with one weekly day off during which nothing can be required of them. In the past, fall sport teams in the preseason were not required to provide a weekly day off, although many teams did. Now, pursuant to a legislative change (see proposal 2016-138), teams will need to provide student-athletes with at least one day off per week.

Third, also beginning this year, the football preseason practice period will operate a bit differently than in the past. Specifically, football teams are no longer able to conduct multiple on-field practice sessions on the same day. Pursuant to proposal 2017-2-FBS, following the five-day acclimatization period, football teams are limited to one on-field practice session per day, with the ability to engage in a walk-through and other weight-training earlier/later on during the same day. Student-athletes must be given a three-hour recovery period between practices, walk-throughs and weight-lifting sessions. Additionally, any on-field practice may only last for a three-hour continuous period; it cannot be broken up into segments that last more than three total, consecutive hours. Here is a primer outlining the changes to the football preseason practice period.