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Intent: To provide pre-season acclimatization rules prior to the season for student athletes with the purpose of minimizing injury and enhancing the player’s health, performance, and well-being.

Core Principals:

  1. Acclimatization Period: The first six days of RIIL approved practice will consist of no more than three (3) hours of practice time.
  1. For Field Hockey, a goalie helmet may be worn on the first two days. Beginning on the third (3rd) day, full protective (field hockey goalie) gear is permitted
  2. For Football: helmets only (days 1-2); helmets and shoulder pads (days 3 – 5).
  3. Recommend using shaded areas during rest breaks.
  4. Recommend cold water immersion tubs on site for warm weather activities
  1. Scrimmages/Games:
    1. A student/athlete shall not be permitted to participate in a scrimmage until he/she has completed five (5) days of practice for all sports. Football: Full pads after five (5) days.
    2. Number of practices (prior to the first game) is ten (10). The first 5 days – no scrimmages; during the next 5 days scrimmages would be allowed. Games (in accordance with our rules) may begin on the 11th day of practice
  2. Rest Period: During the first 14 days – No Sunday practices, games, scrimmages, walk-throughs, or other athletic activity.
  3. 3 – 5 Practice Rule: Days 8 – 13. The maximum allotted time per day for practice is 5 hours. A 5-hour practice day may not be followed by a practice day greater than 3 hours; therefore, practice days may follow a 3hr-5hr-3hr-5hr format.
  4. Recovery Period: On days 6-14 a minimum of a three (3) hour recovery period must be provided after any session of greater than 2 hours in length. A three-hour recovery period must be provided before a walkthrough
  5. Double sessions on the same day count as one (1) practice day.
  1. Any student-athlete or transfer student who joins the team after the official starting date or mid-season must have the minimum number of practices as listed above.


  • Practice – the time a player engages in physical activity. It is recommended that any practice session be no greater than three (3) hours in length. Warm-up-stretching, conditioning, weight training and ‘cool-down’ periods are all considered practice.
  • Chalk talk, skull sessions, film review are not considered practice time.
  • Note: Practice sessions may be divided while adhering to the time restrictions as described above in #4.

Example: 3 Hour Day: one 3-hour practice or two 1 ½ hour practices

5 Hour Day: one 3-hour practice and one 2-hour practice or one 2 ½ hour practice and one 2 ½ hour practice

Walk-through – No protective equipment or strenuous activity permitted. Only balls and field markers (cones) may be used.



  • In general, athletes do not voluntarily drink sufficient water to prevent dehydration during physical activity.
  • Drink early, by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
  • Drink before, during, and after practices and games. Specifically, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following:
  • Drink 16 ounces of fluid 2 hours before exercise.
  • Drink another 8 to 16 ounces 15 minutes before exercise.
  • During exercise, drink 4 to 16 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • The NFHS SMAC strongly recommends that coaches, certified athletic trainers, physicians, and other school personnel working with athletes not provide or encourage use of any beverages for hydration of these youngsters other than water and appropriate sports drinks. They should also make information on the potential harm and lack of benefit associated with many of these other beverages available to parents and athletes.