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Ohio High School Athletic Association Issues Press Release for Fall Sports Practices

On Friday afternoon the Ohio High School Athletic Association sent out the following press release:

OHSAA Fall Sports Practices Begin Next Week

Schools reminded of football practice guidelines and to take precautions for heat conditions in all sports


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Summer conditioning programs and 10 days of coaching will conclude this weekend as the first official day of practice for OHSAA fall sports arrives next week. Football practice begins Monday, while all other fall sports may begin practice on Tuesday.


Schools are reminded of OHSAA heat regulations and the practice guidelines specific to football contact (please see below).


Please visit the specific sport pages at for preseason manuals, news releases, regulations, bulletins, tournament information and state tournament coverage.


OHSAA Fall Sports – Date that Regular-Season Contests May Begin

Cross Country – Aug. 21 (OHSAA Preseason Invitational at National Trail is Aug. 19)

Field Hockey – Aug. 19

Football – Aug. 21 (first Friday is Aug. 25)

Golf – Aug. 4

Soccer – Aug. 18 (OHSAA Friday Night Futbol, see below)

Tennis (Girls) – Aug. 11

Volleyball – Aug. 19


2017-18 OHSAA Ready Reference Calendar:


Football Season and Playoff Notes

Football home:

Playoff format announced:

Football regions:

Associated Press Weekly Polls: begin September 11

Associated Press Weekly Notebooks: begin September 13

Weekly Computer Ratings: begin September 19

Regular-Season Ends Saturday, Oct. 28. Final computer points and playoff qualifiers posted Sunday, Oct. 29

Statewide Broadcast List:


Football Notes and Practice Guidelines

Of the OHSAA’s 822 member high schools, 719 sponsor football teams. A total of 224 will qualify for the playoffs – 32 in each of seven divisions. The regular-season ends on Saturday, Oct. 28, with final computer ratings posted Sunday, Oct. 29.

Acclimatization Period: A five‐day acclimatization period is mandatory prior to any contact drills. Only helmets are permitted on the first and second days of practice. Shoulder pads may be added on days three and four. Full pads may be worn on the fifth day. Full contact is permitted on the sixth day.

Contact Regulations: The following regulations apply to individual student‐athletes. Position groups, etc., can alternate contact to adhere to the regulations listed below. Also, contact with soft equipment such as bags, shields, sleds, etc., does not count toward contact limitations.

Full Contact Limited During Two‐A‐Day Practices: When more than one practice takes place in a day, full contact is permitted only during one of the practices. With the importance of recovery time to help minimize concussion risks, consideration should also be given to the timing of full contact during the next day (i.e. if full contact occurs during session 2 of two‐a‐days, there should not be full contact in session 1 of two‐a‐days the following day).

Practice During the Season (after the first regular‐season game):

  1. Consider limiting full‐contact on consecutive days.
  2. A student‐athlete is limited to 30 minutes of full contact in practice per day.
  3. A student‐athlete is limited to 60 minutes of full contact in practice per week.
  4. A student‐athlete can be involved in full contact in a maximum of two practices in a seven‐day span.


OHSAA Friday Night Futbol

Once again this fall, the OHSAA is promoting a soccer initiative called “Friday Night Futbol.” High school football does not begin until the following week and the OHSAA encourages schools will make the “first Friday night” of the fall sports season and the 2017-18 school year a dedication to high school soccer. Halftime is permitted to be extended to 15 minutes so that high school bands can unveil their new halftime performances. Additional information was sent to schools this past spring and more will be forthcoming – including a great partnership with the Columbus Crew SC that will provide incentives to schools participating. There is no charge and no application – just an effort to promote one of the continually growing sports in the state.


Emergency Action Plans: The Most Important Page in the Playbook

The OHSAA has sent each member school with a copy of the outstanding Emergency Action Plan, “Anyone Can Save a Life,” a first-of-its kind program for after school practices and events. This program has been made available to all schools in the United States through a generous grant from the Medtronic Foundation with distribution funded by the National Federation of State Associations (NFHS) Foundation. The Anyone Can Save A Life training DVD and website – – along with the guide’s implementation instructions, handouts and forms have been prepared to help train coaches, advisors, students and event staff. In addition, there is an array of resources that cover all aspects of preparing and managing an effective emergency response program.


Reminders for All Schools, Coaches and Student-Athletes

  1. All student-athletes must have a pre-participation physical:
  2. All coaches, paid and volunteer, must be certified by the ODE:
  3. OHSAA inclement weather regulations: SEE BELOW
  4. OHSAA heat regulations: SEE BELOW
  5. Mandatory preseason parent meetings information:
  6. See the respective sport pages at online rules meetings, OHSAA sport regulations, OHSAA general sports regulations, preseason coaches manuals, etc.


Coach No-Contact Period

The month of August is a no-contact period for coaches in the sports of basketball, softball, baseball, ice hockey and lacrosse.


OHSAA Inclement Weather Policy and Heat Illness Information

With the start of fall sports, schools are reminded to know the OHSAA’s inclement weather policy, which states that all outdoor activity must be halted for 30 minutes if lightning is seen or thunder is heard. Check out the complete policy at:

In addition, the OHSAA has information posted to prevent heat illness. Resources are posted at:

OHSAA Heat Illness Policy

This procedure is to be used until such time as the temperature is below 84 degrees as no combination of heat and humidity at that level will result in a need to curtail activity.

  1. Thirty minutes prior to the start of activity, temperature and humidity readings should be taken at the site.
  2. The temperature and humidity should be factored into the Heat Index Calculation and Chart and a determination made as to the Heat Index. If schools are utilizing a digital sling psychrometer that calculates the Heat Index, that number may be used to apply to the table.
  3. If a reading is determined whereby activity is to be decreased (above 95 degrees Heat Index), then rereadings would be required every thirty minutes to determine if further activity should be eliminated or preventative steps taken, or if an increased level of activity can resume.
  4. Using the following table, activity should be altered and/or eliminated based on this Heat Index as determined:


Under 95 degrees Heat Index—

  • Optional water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes in duration to allow hydration as a group.
  • Have towels with ice for cooling of athletes as needed.
  • Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action.
  • Re-check temperature and humidity every 30 minutes if temperature rises in order to monitor for increased Heat Index.


95 degrees to 99 degrees Heat Index—

  • Water shall always be available and athletes shall be able to take in as much water as they desire.
  • Mandatory water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes in duration to allow for hydration as a group.
  • Have towels with ice for cooling of athletes as needed.
  • Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action.
  • Helmets and other equipment should be removed when athlete not directly involved with competition, drill or practice and it is not otherwise required by rule.

Notes: Reduce time of outside activity. Consider postponing practice to later in the day. Re-check temperature and humidity every 30 minutes to monitor for increased Heat Index.


100 degrees (above 99 degrees) to 104 degrees Heat Index—

  • Water shall always be available and athletes shall be able to take in as much water as they desire.
  • Mandatory water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes in duration to allow hydration as a group.
  • Have towels with ice for cooling of athletes as needed.
  • Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action.
  • Alter uniform by removing items if possible and permissible by rules.
  • Allow athletes to change to dry shirts and shorts at defined intervals.
  • Reduce time of outside activity as well as indoor activity if air conditioning is unavailable.
  • Postpone practice to later in day.
  • If helmets or other protective requirement are required to be worn by rule or normal practice, suspend practice or competition immediately.

Note: Re-check temperature and humidity every 30 minutes to monitor for changes in Heat Index.

Above 104 degrees Heat Index—

  • Stop all outside activity in practice and/or play, and stop all inside activity if air conditioning is unavailable.

Payton Vince is either talking about sports or watching sports. He covers sports for Metro Networks and is also a writer for He grew up in Brooklyn Heights,Ohio for most of his life then around senior year of high school moved to Cleveland. A fan of the Cleveland Indians, Cavaliers, and a Pittsburgh Steelers, he graduated from Cuyahoga Heights High School (Class of 2014) and also graduated from the Ohio Center for Broadcasting in 2015. He bowled and played baseball in high school, and is a huge fan of independent wrestling and WWE, and can almost always find him at an independent show. Lastly, Payton is a backstage interviewer for Mega Championship Wrestling in Elyria, and is one of the three on ‘That Sports Show’ which airs daily from 2-4pm on

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