Athens Review, Athens, Texas

June 13, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: UIL approves 90-minute per week rule for athletes

The Athens Review

AUSTIN — The University Interscholastic League’s Legislative Council on Tuesday, passed three measures recommended by the UIL Medical Advisory Committee related to student health and safety.

The Legislative Council voted to require cheerleading participants to comply with Chapter 38 subchapter D of the Texas Education Code as it pertains to prevention, treatment and oversight of concussions. Coaches and sponsors for cheerleading will be required to undergo specific training about safety guidelines for cheer as well as other programs, that have the goal of minimizing the risks associated with the activity.

The UIL will formulate into a formal policy the existing actions across the state as they relate to limiting contact in football practice. Full-contact practice will be limited to 90 minutes per athlete per week during the regular and post season. For the purposes of the rule, full contact is defined as football drills or live game simulations where live action occurs. Live action is contact at game speed where players execute full tackles at a competitive pace taking players to the ground.

In an earlier story by the Athens Daily Review, we surveyed area coaches to get their thoughts on the policy.

Coaches from Athens, Malakoff, Mabank and the surrounding area said it would not affect their practice session due to the fact that they would not have enough kids throughout the season.

On Wednesday, Athens athletic director and head football coach Paul Essary and Eustace AD and head football coach Heath Ragle said with the rule going into effect, it will not change how they conduct their practices.

In other action, the League will require a new acknowledgement form with information and resources related to sudden cardiac arrest. The sudden cardiac arrest awareness form will require a signature from a parent or guardian of each student-athlete prior to participation in a UIL event.

The Commissioner of Education must approved amendments passed by the UIL Legislative Council before they may take effect. If approved by the Commissioner of Education, these rules will take effect on August 1, 2013.