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Full-Contact, Game-Speed Controversy – Chris Doelle

Limiting Full-Contact Practice

My take on the controversial subject

Texas high school football practice limits,  chris doelle

For those of you who hadn't heard yet, on Sunday, the University Interscholastic League’s Medical Advisory Committee unanimously recommended limiting football programs to ninety (90) minutes of full-contact, game-speed practices per player per week during the regular season and playoffs.

I have been approached by dozens of parents, coaches and fans already this morning asking for my take on the UIL recommendation.

First things first - this sport DOES cause head injuries.  It does not cause head injuries all the time.  It does not cause head injuries to everyone.  The frequency of head injuries increases as the amount and level of contact increases.  (ie. Pro has more than college, college has more than high school etc.)  These head injuries are cumulative.

As a fan of "the greatest sport in the greatest state," and as a father of two football players, I think that the safety of the players in more important than anything.  Yes, it is more important that even tradition.

I railed against the cry to ban two-a-days!  I railed against them because I think they are GOOD for our young athletes.  I agree that we should have qualified medical training when conducting two-a-days as well as ample water breaks, but working your butt off in the Texas sun is what MADE this state.

When it comes to full-contact, I have to side 100% with the UIL Medical Advisory Committee.  As young athletes have gotten stronger, bigger and faster, the collisions have become more and more injurious.   Again, we need to have (and do) qualified coaches instructing them in the safe ways to hit and take a hit.

You will hear some complaining, but safety will trump any argument.   In the end, all the teams will be following the same rules so it will make the game safer and thus allow more kids to play longer and as what makes this game great is not more hits, but more time playing your heart out for your coach, your teammates and the fans in the stands.


by Chris Doelle
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