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IHSAA Establishes New Limited Contact Rules for Out‐of‐Season Athletes

By IHSAA on May 08, 2018 state news Print

The IHSAA Board of Directors approved 17 rules proposals, one failed to receive support, and one was tabled for further study during its annual review of the By‐Laws and Articles of Incorporation this morning in Indianapolis.  

Among them was an amendment to the Participation Rule that affects out‐of‐season student‐athletes in team sports (baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball). After being tabled by the Board of Directors a year ago for further study, the body voted 19‐0 to establish a Limited Contact Program with specific start and end dates for each season and a separate Conditioning Program.  

The Limited Contact Program replaces what was previously known as “open facility” and now allows coaches to work directly with student‐athletes two days a week for two hours per day providing instruction in a practice setting with balls, goals, nets, etc. The restriction of working with only two athletes also was removed.

For fall sports, Limited Contact Programs may be conducted Monday of Week 9 to Saturday of Week 15. In winter sports, it will be Monday of Week 23 to Saturday of Week 31. And for spring sports, it will be Monday of Week 40 to Saturday of Week 45.

The Executive Committee also approved sponsorship of Unified Flag Football, the second co‐ed sport offered in partnership with Special Olympics Indiana, and 22nd overall. The program combines students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team for sports training and competition, similar to Unified Track & Field, which is now in its fifth year of sponsorship. The tournament will be limited to the first 64 teams that commit to fielding a team with each receiving a “start‐up grant” of equipment and financial assistance from Special Olympics Indiana.

The program would begin this summer with a tentative schedule as follows: First practice: July 30 Regular season: Aug. 11‐Sept. 22 Sectionals: Saturday, Sept. 29 Regionals: Saturday, Oct. 6 Semi‐States: Saturday, Oct. 13 State Finals: Saturday, Oct. 20 (four teams, 1 site)