STEVENS POINT, WI (LEARFIELD-WSAU) Wisconsin high school football practices might be a little safer as early as this August. The W-I-A-A Sports Advisory Committee has endorsed new rules to keep players from getting overheated at practices during a hot summer. The association's Board of Control will act on them this month.
Schools would have to alternate between long days with two practices, and short days with one workout. The short days could run no longer than three hours, with a player recovery period of 30 minutes in a cool environment with pads-and-helmets off. Long days would consist of three-hour practices, followed by a three-hour break and then a 90-minute workout in just helmets and mouth guards.
Full-padded practices would not be allowed until the seventh day of training, rather than the current fourth day. Once the season begins, practices can max out to two-and-a-half hours with no recovery breaks needed.
Dan Brunner, a long-time coach who's now the director of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association, says most coaches already follow some type of player protections during the summer heat. He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it would put a formal policy in writing, and convince parents that the schools are trying to make football safer for their youngsters.