In an effort to regulate the physical grind of year-round high school football, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association passed new legislature Monday, limiting the amount of summer football participation.
The 53-member WIAA representative assembly ratified an amendment (57.3.0), effective immediately, that allows a maximum 20 team summer practices, with no more than 10 of them full-contact days.
Summer practices can be held from the day after spring-sports season ends until July 31.
According to the new amendment, if a high school player wants to turn out for team-related summer activities, he or she must first participate in three consecutive non-contact practices, which count toward the 20-practice allotment.
Only after that will he or she be allowed to partake in full-contact football in any setting – a practice, scrimmage or team camp.
“Before, there were no rules about summer football. The WIAA basically said you were on your own,” said Marty Parkhurst, the football coach and athletic director at Orting High School. “This is a step in the right direction. We probably needed some rules to rein everyone in, and make it a level playing field.”
Players who travel to individual summer camps, combines or passing leagues will not be limited in their participation.
Other notable new WIAA legislature, which all goes into effect for 2013-14:
* Reclassification will stay on a two-year cycle, but instead of the enrollment numbers being used from grades 10-12, they will now come from the student count in grades 9-11 (Amendment 4.1.0).
The rationale is that these new numbers will accurately reflect the true student enrollment of when the reclassification takes effect.
* Schools will now be allowed to appeal a forfeiture ruling of a team victory for using an ineligible participant (Amendment 28.3.0).
* A new “mercy rule” in Class 1B football games will allow a running clock to start when the winning team first leads by 40 or more points, and not delaying until the start of the second half (Amendment 57.6.0).
All WIAA representative assembly voting was done online for the first time this year. Each passed amendment was ratified by a 60-percent majority vote.