New practice rule not big deal to some area football coaches

The new rule approved by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association this week will limit summer football practices to 20, with a maximum of 10 practices in full pads with full contact.

Three area coaches contacted by The Columbian said the intent of the new rule is good, but there are still some questions.

Cale Piland of Union, in fact, said he could imagine going one summer with this rule and then some changes could happen next year after coaches see how it affects their programs.

Coaches at Camas, Skyview and Union say the limitations will not be that big of a deal to them.

“We’ve never really gone past 20 anyway,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said.

But all three said if football has limitations, other WIAA-sanctioned sports should be limited, too.

Yes, the intent is for less contact in the violent game of football. But the coaches said all athletes need a break from their sport from time to time.

“If we’re going to limit spring, summer football, we need to limit all sports across the board,” Piland said.

Football programs can begin practice the first school day after the end of spring sports. In the past, teams could practice until the end of July. (Although no teams in the area that we know of actually practiced for two full months, technically, that was all within the rules until now.)

Starting this summer season, players must attend three practices with no contact and no pads. Then teams must practice with pads, with contact, for four days before they can scrimmage other teams.

In all, there can only be 10 contact days and 10 non-contact days.

Kizer called that common sense, and noted that Vancouver Public Schools has had a similar policy anyway.

All three coaches said contact is necessary, though, because this is a good time to teach the younger players the proper way to tackle. But limiting contact also is a good thing for the well being of the athlete.

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