A new PIAA rule will go into effect this upcoming football season that limits the amount of time players can participate in full contact practices during the regular and post seasons.
The PIAA Board of Directors passed the new regulation on March 20. It states, “No player is allowed to participate in more than 90 minutes of full contact practice per week.” Those 90 minutes can be spread out over 3 days.
In the ruling elaborates, saying, “Contact at game speed where players execute full tackles at a competitive pace taking players to the ground.”
So-called thud, wrap, or bag drills do not apply to the new regulation.
The PIAA says it another step taken to reduce head injuries in young athletes.
“As you've seen not only statewide but nationwide there has been a big concern with safety in terms of concussions and trying to do everything we can to minimize the risk of concussions,” PIAA Assistant Executive Director Melissa Mertz said.
She added, “We're all about risk minimization, so whatever we can do to get ahead of any of that certainly helps us, helps the student-athletes..”
The PIAA says most coaches support the change.