Prep sports practice starts this week

Summer conditioning programs and 10 days of coaching concluded over the weekend as the first official day of practice for OHSAA fall sports arrived this week. Football practice began Monday, while all other fall sports begin practice on Tuesday.

Regular season contests are just around the corner. Golf matches can begin Aug. 4. Soccer can begin Aug. 18, Volleyball on Aug. 19, cross country on Aug. 21 and football the week of Aug. 21.

Football notes

Of the OHSAA’s 822 member high schools, 719 sponsor football teams. A total of 224 will qualify for the playoffs – 32 in each of seven divisions. The regular-season ends on Saturday, Oct. 28, with final computer ratings posted Sunday, Oct. 29.

Acclimatization Period: A five‐day acclimatization period is mandatory prior to any contact drills. Only helmets are permitted on the first and second days of practice. Shoulder pads may be added on days three and four. Full pads may be worn on the fifth day. Full contact is permitted on the sixth day.

Full Contact Limited During Two‐A‐Day Practices: When more than one practice takes place in a day, full contact is permitted only during one of the practices. With the importance of recovery time to help minimize concussion risks, consideration should also be given to the timing of full contact during the next day (i.e. if full contact occurs during session 2 of two‐a‐days, there should not be full contact in session 1 of two‐a‐days the following day).

OHSAA Friday Night Futbol

Once again this fall, the OHSAA is promoting a soccer initiative called “Friday Night Futbol.” High school football does not begin until the following week and the OHSAA encourages schools will make the “first Friday night” of the fall sports season and the 2017-18 school year a dedication to high school soccer. Halftime is permitted to be extended to 15 minutes so that high school bands can unveil their new halftime performances.

Additional information was sent to schools this past spring and more will be forthcoming – including a great partnership with the Columbus Crew SC that will provide incentives to schools participating. There is no charge and no application – just an effort to promote one of the continually growing sports in the state.