COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – In the hopes of reducing the risk of concussions and head injuries in high school football, the Ohio High School Athletic Commission’s board of directors voted unanimously Monday to limit full-contact drills during practices.
The changes were recommended by the National Federation of High School Associations’ concussion task force, and the changes “bring Ohio up to a place as a national leader in this area,” said OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross.
“Like many of our regulations, these guidelines are to be followed and monitored by member schools and coaches, but we are fortunate in Ohio that many coaches have already been following these safety measures,” Ross said. “There will always be a risk for concussion, but football is safer now than it has ever been, and these guidelines will make it even safer.”
Under the guidelines, full-contact is allowed after a five-day adjustment period during preseason practice and is only permitted during one session of two-a-day preseason practices to give players recovery time.
The changes also limit players to 30 minutes of full-contact practice per day and 60 minutes per week during the regular season.
The measures are effective immediately, but Ross said it’s the coaches’ responsibility to make sure their practices keep in line with the changes.
“These regulations are being put into place for the safety of our student-athletes, and it is incumbent on coaches to monitor the contact in their practices,” Ross said. “Our coaches are educators and leaders. They want what’s best for kids, and these regulations are in line with these safety recommendations.”