Varsity Extra

Varsity Extra notebook: IHSAA approves new practice model for fall sports

High school football coaches will have to adjust to new rules when practice begins in August.

Idaho High School Activities Association Executive Director Ty Jones said the updates were overdue when they were approved during a board meeting Wednesday in Boise.

“The way football and cross country and soccer are practiced — mostly football, though — has just changed over the last 15 or 20 years,” Jones said. “And that’s how old our practice model was.”

The new rules call for a maximum of four hours of on-field practice activities each day, down from five, with a maximum of 2.5 hours of practice per session, down from three.

Two-a-day practices can be held in succession during the first four days of the season, but two-a-days can’t be held on consecutive days after the fourth day of practice.

Perhaps the most significant change is a limit on contact during the practice week. The previous model did not have a limit.

The new model states, “There will be no more than 120 minutes of contact during practice per week. Drills involving bags or another soft-contact surface do not fall under the 120-minute limit.


A first reading on requiring facemasks to be mandatory for pitchers and third basemen beginning with the 2016 season was tabled after lengthy debate. The topic will be revisited during the IHSAA’s August meeting.

“I think the (board) just wants more information,” Jones said. “It is not that people aren’t concerned about safety. That’s not it at all.”


Of the 122 member schools that reported information to the IHSAA for the 2015 spring season, 88 concussions were reported.

The highest number of incidents came in softball with 47 reported concussions. Baseball had 23, boys track & field had 10, girls track six and one each in boys and girls tennis. There were no concussions reported in golf.

This was the first time schools were asked to report spring concussion numbers, and approximately 30 schools did not participate. It will be a requirement next spring, as it already is for fall sports.


Senior Emily Hamlin was chosen as the Gatorade Idaho Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row.

The Washington signee won individual 5A state titles in the 3,200 meters (10:49.39), 1,600 (4:59.50) and 800 (2:15.03) for the second consecutive season.