SUBJECT: Frequency of Play – Football Practice Regulations

Amend Bylaws Article I, Section F, Item 6 as follows:

6.   Practice will be defined as follows: An activity organized and/or directed by an identified member of the coaching staff of that sport in which appropriate equipment is used or instruction and/or evaluation of the athlete takes place.

In the sport of football, the following regulations apply:

a.  Beginning on the first day of practice for each student, a five-day acclimatization period is required for all student-athletes, and should be conducted as follows:

1)    Days 1-2: Helmets are the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear.

2)    Days 3-4: Helmets and shoulder pads are the only pieces of protective equipment student-athletes may wear.

3)    Day 5 and thereafter: student-athletes may practice in full pads and utilize any protective equipment.

b.  Each student is limited to a maximum of four total hours per day of on-field and/or physical activity, which includes all on-field practice, skills work, conditioning, and walkthrough sessions. Within those four total hours, the following restrictions apply:

1)    A student is limited to a maximum of three total hours per day of physical activities, including skills work, on-field practice, and conditioning sessions.

2)    Following each physical activity, a three-hour recovery period must be provided, during which students may not engage in on-field or physical activity, or weight training.

3)    Additional on-field walkthrough sessions are permitted provided no protective equipment or football implements are used, and no conditioning takes place.


Intent: To implement football practice regulations creating a mandatory five-day acclimatization period and parameters for maximum on-field and physical activity limits.

Effective date: August 1, 2018

Submitted by: Athletic Trainers Association

Co-sponsored by: NAIA Council for Student-Athletes, Association of Student-Athletes



2 Responses to “18-B-04: Frequency of Play – Football Practice Regulations”

  1. Rusty Allen says:

    When I read 6b, I am confused about a couple of things.

    1. For point #1, does “…and conditioning sessions.” include weight training? In other words, is weight training considered a subset of conditioning in this context? Or, more specifically, can weight training that otherwise satisfies 6b point #2 be in addition to the 4 total hours per day specified in 6b?

    2. For point #3, what does it mean that “Additional on-field walkthrough sessions are premitted…”? In 6b it states that any walkthrough sessions must happen within the 4 total hours allowed per day. Does 6b point #3 still mean within those 4 total hours? If so, then point #3 seems redundant. If not, then it might be important to clarify that there is more than one version of a walkthrough session.

    • Chesney Sallee says:

      Weight training is not automatically included when the term “conditioning” is noted. Weigh training is specifically articulated when it is intended to be included in a regulation, like you see in part Item 6b2. So in Item 6b1, weight training would not count towards an institution’s three hour daily maximum for physical activities, but conditioning would.

      Regarding Item 6b3, the walkthrough is in addition to the three-hour maximum for physical and on-field activities. However, any walkthrough sessions would still be required to be included in the four-hour daily maximum. Your point is a good one, and I can see how the word “additional” could cause confusion, as the walkthrough session should be included in the overarching four-hour daily maximum. I will raise this point with the sponsors and the Constitution & Bylaws Committee.