WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - New rule changes proposed by the UIL Medical Advisory Committee aim to cut down the amount of contact and full padded practices coaches can have in the spring and the preseason.
Wichita Falls High School head coach Grant Freeman likes the new proposed changes.
"They did a good job of looking at where we are at as a sport," said coach Freeman. "And what we can do better and they didn't just come up with it on their own we did some focus groups and they polled us they did some different studies and so I think where they have come with these new rule change proposals is kind of where the state feels of what the majority of the football coaches feel."
The new proposed rule changes will require teams to start preseason practice with two days of helmets only, followed by three days of helmet and shoulder pads, before full contact practices. The new rule changes would also limit the amount of time the players can be out on the field, with no more than three full contact practices in a week. The UIL says these changes will help with player safety.
"I think always number one thing is keeping athletes' safety at the utmost," Freeman said. "I mean that's the number one thing: you always want to keep our athletes safe. The game has changed a little bit and we're going to have to change with it. And so while we might not be hitting as much or wearing all of our pads as much, we are still teaching our kids. We are still learning to cut, we are still learning our offense and defense. We are still working with our kids and so it's what you get out of that time that is going to be on you as a staff."
Old High will have 18 practices for spring ball, and that's something coach Freeman says is very valuable for a team like the Coyotes.
"I think that any time that you are able to have 18 practices, no matter what, and get to sub that for seven days [in the fall], I'm going to take the 18 over the seven," said Freeman. "And I'm not a mathematician, but I know that 18 is bigger than seven. And so anytime we're going to be able to be out teaching our kids and working with our kids and having our kids being instructed by our coaching staff, I am going to take that any time over the less days."