The state of New Jersey has adopted new guidelines to drastically reduce the amount of full-contact allowed in practices in the name of player safety.
The previous rules allowed for 90 minutes per week of full-contact drills – meaning drills and practice periods where players are taken to the ground – but the new guidelines, which the New York Times points out are the most restrictive in the country, cuts that time down to 15 minutes of full-contact drills per week.
Meanwhile, Arizona State, who started spring practice last week, believes that their consultations with their rugby coach on staff is going to allow them to go live during practice with just helmets on players.
Across college football, the NCAA has no set time mandate on full-contact practices, but the Ivy League famously went to no full-contact periods during practice a few years ago, and the Pac-12 has issued a 90-minute limit of full-contact time per week during the season.
A lot of coaches around the country have been transitioning to practices where “thud” periods are much more common than full-contact periods, so this isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff, but I would expect to see more state associations weigh in and follow a similar blueprint sooner rather than later.
From a strictly personal standpoint, I’d have to think back over six seasons to the last time I was part of a staff that went full-contact during practice. This latest announcement from New Jersey is just the way things have been trending.
Head here to read the full New York Times piece.