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DIFCA Pre-Season Guidelines. DEFINITIONS Prior to participation in any preseason practice activities, all student-athletes are required to undergo a Pre-Participation Medical Examination (PPE) administered by a physician (MD, DO), or as required by state law.

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Difca pre season guidelines
DIFCA Pre-Season Guidelines


Prior to participation in any preseason practice activities, all student-athletes are required to undergo a Pre-Participation Medical Examination (PPE) administered by a physician (MD, DO), or as required by state law.

The Acclimatization Periodis defined as the first 14 calendar days of pre-season practice for all student-athletes. This period shall begin once equipment is used. All student-athletes, including those who arrive to pre-season practice after the first day of practice are required to follow the guidelines of the Acclimatization period.

During the Acclimatization period, student-athletes will not be allowed to practice on Sundays.

A Practice is defined as the time a participant engages in physical activity. Each practice shall be no more than 2.5 hours in length. Warm-up, stretching, and cool-down activities are to be included as part of practice time. All conditioning and/or weight room activities shall be considered practice.

A Walk-Through shall be defined as a teaching opportunity with no protective equipment (i.e. helmets, shoulder pads, catcher’s gear, shin guards, lacrosse sticks) or equipment related to a given sport (i.e. footballs, blocking sleds, pitching machine, soccer balls, marker cones). The time engaged in a walk-through should not be more than an hour in length. This time does not include conditioning or weight room activities. Classroom time , where the athlete is indoors in a properly conditioned environment , and receiving instructions (not physical activity) only, shall not be considered part of walk-through time but shall be considered part of total football time.

A Recovery Periodis defined as the time between the end of one practice or walk-through and the beginning of the next Practice or walk-through. During this time, no physical or outdoor football activity will be permitted (speed, strength, conditioning, agility, walk-through).

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DIFCA con.

Pre Season Schedule

  • The first three days of preseason practice shall consist of helmets only. Teams will be allowed one practice and one walk-through only. Absolutely no contact allowed during this period.

  • If a practice session is interrupted by inclement weather or heat restrictions, the session may be divided for the good of the student-athlete’s welfare as long as the total practice time does not exceed 2.5 hours for that session.

  • During days 4 – 5 of preseason full equipment may be worn. The daily schedule shall not exceed SIX and one-half hours of total football instruction in one day and no more than FIVE hours of walk- through and physical activity (i.e. Practice, weights, conditioning ) within those six and one-half hours.This leaves at least 1.5 hours for any indoor, non-physical activity (i.e. classroom, video). Each practice will be no more than 2.5 hours in length. There will be no live contact. Technique work on sleds, dummies and padded shields is allowed.

  • Recovery time shall equal practice/walk-through time, i.e. Practice 1.5 hours = Recovery period 1.5 hours. Recovery period length equals practice length.

  • Starting with Day 6 and lasting until school starts live contact will be permitted. The practice schedule will remain the same as stated in #3.

  • Teams will not be permitted to practice on Sundays. This will be a day of Recovery for the athletes.

  • On days when a live scrimmage is scheduled there will be no other live practices permitted. A walk-through will be permitted on these days.

  • On days when two practices are conducted, neither practice shall exceed 2.5 hours in length. Warm-up, stretching and cool-down activities are included as part of the practice time. 2.5 hour practices shall be separated with at least 2.5 hours of recovery time between the end of the first practice and the very beginning of the second. Student-athletes shall not participate in more than five hours of physical practice time and six and one-half hours of total football time on these days, as previously stated in #3.

  • All coaches must and will continue to follow general guidelines for heat restrictions.

  • It is highly recommended that each school provide air-conditioned environments for weight training, classroom instruction, and rest time.

    DIFCA will continue to work with DIAA and NFHS to strive to meet the standards for safety for our student-athletes.

Example day 4

  • 8-10am outdoor practice

  • 10-12 Recovery/ Lunch

  • 12-1 Weight lifting

  • 1-2:30 Class Room Instruction

  • 230- 3 Recovery (1-3) / Break

  • 3-5 outdoor practice