Football practice start date adjusted

COLUMBUS – The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced an adjustment to the 2017 football season calendar, which moves the official start date for practice one day earlier, back to Monday, July 31. The original practice start date had been established as Tuesday, August 1, which matched the start date for all other OHSAA fall sports.

In addition, the OHSAA Board of Directors meets this Thursday for its regularly scheduled April meeting and will be presented with the new divisional breakdowns for all fall sports. For the first time, competitive balance roster data will be added to the base enrollment numbers in the fall sports of football, volleyball and soccer. Pending board approval, divisional breakdowns for all fall sports will be posted at Thursday, including the school-by-school divisional assignment in the three fall sports affected by competitive balance.

In May 2014, OHSAA member schools voted in favor of the Competitive Balance Proposal, which affects baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and volleyball by examining sport-specific roster data (grades 9-12) submitted by each school and could increase a school’s enrollment count.

Winter sports divisional breakdowns will be presented to the board at its June meeting, while spring sports will be presented in August.

Football Practice Begins Monday, July 31

The change in the start date for football practice was approved so that schools can have the traditional amount of practice time before their first scrimmage the following week, which is usually a teaching scrimmage mid-week, followed by a live scrimmage that Friday or Saturday. An OHSAA Jamboree Game, which is a third scrimmage played under game conditions, is then permitted the following week.

“Football is the only sport that requires a five-day acclimatization period before full-go contact is permitted, so allowing for an additional day of practice will really help our coaches teach more fundamentals before their first scrimmage,” Beau Rugg, OHSAA Assistant Commissioner and football administrator, said. “And with the reduction in full-go contact during practice that went into effect a couple years ago, every minute on the practice field is important. Most of our schools want three scrimmages, and giving them this extra day of practice will help make that a reality.”

In 2018, football practice will begin Monday, July 30.

Staff Report

Reach the Ohio School Athletic Association at (614) 267-2502.