GHSA try­ing to beat the heat

The Covington News - - Sports -

AT­LANTA — Ge­or­gia is ban­ning three-a-day foot­ball prac­tices and will fine schools that vi­o­late rules aimed at keep­ing stu­dent-ath­letes from suc­cumb­ing to heat.

The Ge­or­gia High School As­so­ci­a­tion de­cided Mon­day to es­tab­lish the new guide­lines for schools statewide.

Ge­or­gia’s new guide­lines re­quire play­ers to go through five prac­tices in only hel­mets, shirts and shorts be­fore go­ing to full pads Aug. 1.

They also state that two-a-day prac­tices can’t oc­cur on con­sec­u­tive days or ex­ceed five hours in a sin­gle day; and prac­tic­ing in pads is limited to three hours a day, the Florida Times-union re­ported.

The new rules come af­ter Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia re­searchers re­ported in­creases in play- er deaths na­tion­wide in re­cent years.

Re­searchers found that heatre­lated deaths among foot­ball play­ers across the coun­try tripled to nearly three per year be­tween 1994 and 2009 af­ter av­er­ag­ing about one per year the pre­vi­ous 15 years.

The Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia re­ports that over­all, Ge­or­gia led the na­tion in deaths with seven fa­tal­i­ties.

Two Ge­or­gia play­ers died in Au­gust.

“Our pre­vi­ous re­search shows heat ill­ness rates are high­est in the South­east,” said Michael Fer­rara, pro­fes­sor of ki­ne­si­ol­ogy and as­so­ci­ate dean for re­search in UGA’S Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion, who co-di­rected the study with Bud Cooper, as­so­ci­ate depart­ment head for the depart­ment of ki­ne­si­ol­ogy.

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