WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. - These aren't your father's two-a-day football practices.
Fall football practice started for high school teams across the state Wednesday. So did new guidelines for how practice will be run.
"While the policy is good, it has forced some schools to go more intensely during the summer. Some of the camps start to see kids wearing pads," said Bloomington head coach Rigo Schmelzer. "First time in my tenure I had to do that."
the new rules essentially cut practice down to three hours per day. Most teams split their sessions into 90-minute blocks.
Players are in helmets only for the first two days of practice. Shoulder pads are added on day three.
The first day of fully-padded practice is Tuesday.
"First few days when you go helmet only it's tough to get anything that measures into the football world done," said Washington coach Darrell Crouch. "Having helmets and shoulder pads and not being able to bang hampers us from that standpoint."
The rules mean players will have just ten days between opening night (Aug. 30) and the introduction of pads to practice (Aug. 20).
"The decision was made based on good scinece by a good medical advisory board," said Metamora coach Pat Ryan. "Coaches had input, IHSA board was involved. There's a lot of pretty good people that care about kids involved. It is what is is. Got to make the most of it."
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