New WIAA amendment curtails use of football equipment in summer
Though not as severe as amendment proposed last winter, new amendment will cap full-contact practices at 10
That amendment, which was derided by coaches around the state as too strict, was not passed. But an amendment with less drastic cuts did Monday and it will force high school coaches around the state to be more efficient with their players in the offseason.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced the passage of Amendment 10, entitled "High School Football Practice Requirements," which limits the number of days a team can practice between the end of spring sports and July 31 to 10 padded, full-contact practices and a total of 20 days under the supervision of the coaching staff. While weight lifting and conditioning workouts would not be subject to the new 20-day rule, seven-on-seven competitions and team camps would. Also a minimum of three practices will be required for summer football before full pads and full contact may take place.
Lakewood head football coach Dan Teeter, who was an active opponent of Polk's amendment, said he was pleased with the passage of Amendment 10.
"I think it's a good thing for football in our state," said Teeter, who added that Washington state was one of a very few states with zero restrictions for summer football practices. "I think we all knew we needed some type of regulation. Most coaches are good guys but there are some people who could go overboard."
Prior to the passage of Amendment 10 players could use school-issued football equipment starting after Memorial Day weekend without restrictions until July 31.
Teeter said that because of heightened awareness concerning concussions and other football-related injuries, coaches felt something needed to happen. After the failure of Polk's amendment, Teeter joined other coaches from around the state to take the next step. "We got together after the other amendment failed and said 'Let's come up with a solution,' " Teeter said. "We wanted to be proactive."
Throughout what turned out to be a year-long process the committee put forth restrictions that ranged from a maximum of 10 days of organized activity to 25. The fact the final number ended up being 20 was a compromise, according to Teeter.
In terms of how it will affect his team Teeter said he doesn't see much change, stating that including the passing camp Lakewood hosts and other summer practices, the Cougars usually conduct right around 20 days of organized activity between Memorial Day and July 31.
Amendments are voted on by the Representative Assembly, which is comprised of a total of 53 (35 high school; 18 middle school) member school administrators from each of the nine districts. To pass an amendment, each amendment needs 60 percent majority approval from the Representative Assembly.
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