GHSA trying to beat the heat
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.