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Football practice starts July 25

Olympic and Paralympic Trials

Posted: July 15, 2012 - 12:09am
Photo by Jim Blaylock Scott Rouch, sports reporter for the Columbia County News-Times. Feb. 2, 2012  JIM BLAYLOCK
JIM BLAYLOCK
Photo by Jim Blaylock Scott Rouch, sports reporter for the Columbia County News-Times. Feb. 2, 2012

The opportunity to take off work presented itself last week, so I thought I’d go while I had the chance.

Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., were just as hot as anywhere. Go figure.

I don’t foresee having much time off in the near future as school (sorry, kids) starts in just a few short weeks.

With camps, travel ball and practices starting up almost as soon as the school year ended, I shudder to think how few days off our coaches and athletes have enjoyed during the summer. Hopefully, they will have had some time to kick back and recharge their batteries before the school year hits.

Having said that, football practice starts July 25, and is pretty much non-stop until November.

Some schools call it mini-camp and won’t require players to be in pads until the beginning of August, but make no mistake: it’s the beginning of the process.

They will have the first crack at adhering to the new Georgia High School Association practice policy for heat and humidity. With the way temperatures have been lately, they might be lucky to get in much practice at all.

GHSA will use the “wet bulb globe temperature index,” which takes into account the air temperature, humidity, wind and radiation.

When the wet bulb globe temperature is 87-89.9 degrees, maximum practice time for football is two hours. Players are restricted to helmet, shoulder pads and shorts during practice, and all protective equipment must be removed for conditioning activities. All athletes, regardless of sport, should be provided at least four separate rest breaks each hour for a minimum of four minutes each.

At 90-92 degrees, the maximum length of practice is an hour. Also, no protective equipment may be worn during practice, and there may be no conditioning activities. There must be 20 minutes of rest breaks provided during the practice hour.

At temperatures higher than 92 degrees, outdoor workouts must be cancelled and practices delayed until a cooler wet-bulb globe temperature reading occurs.

With the number of heat-related incidents in athletics during the past few years, I applaud the powers that be for instituting this policy. As long as everyone plays by the new rules, there shouldn’t be a competitive advantage or disadvantage for anyone.

Olympic and Paralympic Trials

Congratulations to Scott Winkler and Reese Hoffa.

Winkler was named to the U.S. Paralympic Team for the second time after winning the men’s shot put at the U.S. Paralympic Trials June 29-July 1 in Indianapolis. Hoffa qualified for his third Olympics after winning the men’s shot put June 24 at the U.S. Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore.

None of our swimmers made the Olympic squad, but they, too, should be commended for their efforts. If it’s still in their plans, I hope they have the opportunity to try for that dream in another four years.

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