UIL imposes new football practice limitations

August 6, 2012 4:24:42 PM PDT
We're nearing the end of the summer vacation, and for many high school football players that means back to practice. But those dreaded two-a-days may be a thing of the past.

Call it a right of passage, or a way of life in Texas high school football -- two-a-day practices in the Texas heat are no longer here -- technically, thanks to the UIL.

Take Katy High School, for example. They and the rest of Texas high schools can't practice twice a day during the first week of training. And after that, two-a-days are allowed but not on consecutive days. This is to save kids from heat-related injuries.

"The UIL has done what they have to for the safety of the kids. My thoughts are that most of the coaches in Texas are not going to do anything to jeopardize or harm their kids in any way," Katy High School head football coach Gary Joseph said.

Last summer, Houston saw 46 days of 100-degree heat, including all but one day in August.

"I think it's a trickle down effect back from the NCAA. I think that is a big part of it. I know the NCAA has gone with it, with two-a-days, so it was a matter of time that the UIL mandated it," Joseph said.

Last year's record-setting heat put these UIL changes in motion, pretty much ending two-a-days for Katy and most schools.

"For us it is because the second week when we are allowed two-a-days, we are in service, and they only let you have two-a-days every other day, so the most anybody could do it would be two days a week," Joseph said. "Yea, I think two-a-days as you know it, two-a-days as I know it are pretty much over."

Coaches aren't the only ones split on the issue. Many parents understand why they are doing it but don't necessarily agree with it.

"What they are doing is trying to find ways to make sure at the end of the day the kids are safe. But don't get me wrong as an ex-player, I do feel like some of the rules and things that they have done have taken away from what the actual sport is," said Cedric Hardeman, parent of a football player at Alief Taylor High School.

"You just didn't like two-a-days. I have never known a player that just liked two-a-days but it was part of the game," said Antonio Armstrong, parent of another football player. "But they have changed it for what ever reason. Liike I always tell everybody, its not going to kill the kids not to go through two-a-days."

But for coach Joseph and his staff, they still have a job to do and that's get these boys ready for football.

"My biggest concern right now is the conditioning. We haven't had a lot of conditioning problems in the past several years as far as a lot of cramping and things, in the first ball game," Joseph said. "But now without two-a-days, we've gotta be able to get the kids out in the sun."

Coach Joseph did stress the coaches doesn't want to see anyone hurt, and they are all in it for the kids.

If you'd like to find out more about the UIL rules changes and how high school football practices will be affected this year, visit the UIL website.

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