The Southeastern Conference league office announced on Thursday that it’s member institutions will be adopting new football practice rules recommended by the NCAA Sports Science Institute. These recommendations will affect practices conducted during the preseason, in-season, post-season and spring segments.
Much of the recommended changes will affect the amount of live-contact in an order to reduce injuries and improve player safety. The recommendations received the unanimous support of the SEC Athletics Directors and the league’s Presidents and Chancellors.
RECOMMENDED RULE CHANGES
Preseason practice recommendations
Two-a-day practices are not recommended. A second session of no helmet/pad activity may include walk-throughs or meetings; conditioning in the second session of activity is not allowed. The preseason may be extended by one week in the calendar year to accommodate the lost practice time from elimination of two-a-days, and to help ensure that players obtain the necessary skill set for competitive play.
During the seven day week following the five-day acclimation period:
There should be a minimum of three non-contact to minimal contact practices during the week of practice.
A non-contact to minimal contact practice should follow each scrimmage.
Up to three days of practice can be live contact.
There should be one day of no football practice.
Inseason practice recommendations
Inseason is defined as the period between six days prior to the first regular-season game and the final regular-season game or conference championship game (for participating institutions).
During the week:
One day of live contact with tackling should be allowed.
One day of live contact with thud should be allowed.
Three days of practice should be non-contact to minimal contact.
Postseason practice recommendations
NCAA Championships (Football Championship Subdivision/Division II/Division III), Bowl games (Football Bowl Subdivision)
If there is a two week or less period of time between the final regular season game or conference championship game (for participating institutions) and the next bowl or postseason game, then inseason practice recommendations should remain in place. If there is greater than two weeks between the final regular season game or conference championship game (for participating institutions) and the next bowl or postseason game, then:
Up to three days may be live-contact (two of which should be live contact/thud).
There must be three non-contact/minimal contact practices in a given week.
The day preceding and following live contact/tackling should be non-contact/minimal contact or no football practice.
One day must be no football practice.
Spring practice recommendations
Of the 15 allowable sessions that may occur during the spring practice season, eight practices may involve live contact (tackling or thud); three of these live contact practices may include greater than 50 percent live contact (scrimmages). Live contact practices should be limited to two in a given week and should not occur on consecutive days. The day following live scrimmage should be non-contact/minimal contact.
“We believe these measures will enhance the health and safety procedures SEC universities have already established to support their football programs,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “Student-athlete well-being will always be a priority for SEC member institutions and, as the NCAA Sports Science Institute has developed and provided guidance on the structure for football practice, everyone associated with this great sport must continue to adapt to keep the game safe while played at the highest competitive level.”
For the complete recommended rule changes that the SEC has adopted, CLICK HERE. Each SEC member school will be responsible for the implementation and adherence to the recommendations.