New football practice rules go into effect this fall


The Georgia High School Association released a reminder today regarding changes in contact rules during traditional fall football practices. The new restrictions on contact at practices go into full effect this season.


Next week (July 27-31), member schools begin a week of conditioning practices in helmets only. Practices in pads begin the following week. Below is the reminder:


All football coaches and ADs are reminded that the GHSA State Executive Committee adopted new contact restrictions which go into effect this fall. With practice starting soon, this is a good time to review these rules and requirements (which are found of page 68-69 of the 2015-16 Constitution & By-Laws):

Full contact should be limited during practices as well as during activity outside of the traditional fall practice. (Note: No limitation is placed on activities defined below as “AIR, BAGS or CONTROL” contact.)

(a) For purposes of this by-law, the following definitions shall apply: AIR - Players run a drill unopposed without contact; BAGS - Players run a drill against a bag or another soft-contact surface; CONTROL - Players run a drill at assigned speed until the moment of contact and one player is pre-determined the “winner” by the coach. Contact remains above the waist and players stay on their feet; THUD - Players run a drill at competitive speed through the moment of contact with no pre-determined “winner.” Contact remains above the waist, players stay on their feet and a quick whistle ends the drill; LIVE ACTION - Players run a drill in game-like conditions and is the only time that players are taken to the ground; FULL CONTACT - Contact which meets the definition of Live Action or Thud.

(b) Pre-Season Practice:

1) Full contact shall be allowed in no more than 2 consecutive practice days per week;

2) Full contact during practice shall be limited to not more than 45 minutes per day;

3) Full contact during practice shall be limited to not more than 135 minutes per week; and

4) During any twice-daily practice, only one session per day shall include full contact.

(c) Regular & Post Season Practice:

1) Full contact during practice shall be allowed in no more than three (3) practice days per week;

2) Full contact during practice shall not be allowed on more than two (2) consecutive days;

3) Full contact during practice shall be limited to not more than 30 minutes per day;

4) Full contact during practice shall be limited to not more than 90 minutes per week.

(d) Written Practice Plans: A written practice plan in compliance with this by-law shall be prepared in advance by the head coach prior to every practice and maintained by the school for a period of at least twelve (12) months. Such practice plans shall be made available to the GHSA upon request.

(e) Violations: The penalty to be imposed upon any member school found to have violated this by-law in any substantial manner shall be as follows:

1) First Offense: A fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2500 per violation at the discretion of the Executive Director.

2) Second Offense: The school shall be placed on probation and shall not be eligible to participate in post season play.

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