The Year-Round Football Contact Recommendations were recently updated to reflect additional research and findings related to student-athlete health. The CSMAS (Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport) supported the updates and the Football Oversight Committee endorsed the updates. As seen below, the guidelines seek to diminish contact for student-athlete safety and ensure adequate rest/recovery between contact practices. One notes that these guidelines seek to mandate a required day off for football student-athletes during the preseason practice period (essentially what the Pac-12 is seeking during the 2017 autonomy business session).
Key changes to the recommendations include:
- Discontinue two-a-day practices. (A second session may include walkthroughs or meetings but no helmets, pads or conditioning.)
- Extend the preseason by one week.
- Reduce live tackling or thud practices from four to three a week.
- Ensure three noncontact or minimal contact practices per week.
- Ensure noncontact or minimal contact practices are held the day after a scrimmage.
- Implement one day per week without practice.
- Permit only one live contact tackling practice per week.
- Permit only one live contact thud practice per week.
- Implement three or more noncontact or minimal contact practices per week.
- If more than two weeks elapse between the final regular-season or conference championship game and a bowl or postseason game, then allow up to three practices per week of live contact (including two thud); add three days of noncontact or minimal contact practices per week; and ensure the day preceding and after live contact tackling practices should be noncontact or minimal contact.
Hold a noncontact or minimal contact practice every day after a live scrimmage.