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03/22/23- Off Season Football Activity and Practice Reminders

March 22, 2023 2022-2023 News Releases


Based on a series of inquiries in the last day or so, a couple of reminders are necessary for our football schools in an effort to prevent inadvertent violations of the bylaws surrounding football practice and off-season activity. NONE OF THESE PROVISIONS ARE NEW but with large turnover in many areas, a reminder seems prudent.


  • Helmets are part of the player equipment spelled out in the NFHS playing rule 1-5. As such, the use of a helmet is restricted by Bylaw 23, just as all other playing equipment is restricted.
  • Helmets may only be issued to players prior to July 10 in the following cases:
    • An activity explicitly approved by school administration that is held on campus and involves only enrolled students at the school between the end of the 2022 playing season and July 10, not including the approved and reported spring practice dates. This activity may not be required (implicitly or explicitly) and must meet all other requirements of Bylaw 23 including the use of school uniforms and other equipment;
    • For a camp or all-star competition where no more than four players from the school are in attendance;
    • For the official spring practice period as reported to the Association by the appropriate deadline and detailed at
  • Helmets may NOT be issued to players prior to July 10 in the following cases:
    • Any activity involving students from another school other than the approved camp or all-star competition where no more than four players from the school are in attendance.
    • Any organized competition involving other schools in any variation of football prior to July 10.


  • Other equipment (shoulder pads, hip pads, thigh pads, pad girdle or any other football gear) detailed in NFHS Rule 1-5 may not be issued prior to July 10 with the exception of the all-star or individual camp exception where not more than four players are in attendance from the school.


All sports, including football, are restricted in on-campus competition and activity outside of the defined limitation of seasons (end of season through July 10 for football);

  • No competition may involve more than half the number of the normal playing allowance (in football, no more than five at a time). Therefore, no seven-on-seven competition is permitted by schools and teams from the end of the last season through July 10;
  • Schools shall not organize or participate in any football activities that allow players to be in football gear included in NFHS Rule 1-5 even if contact does not occur;
  • No session shall be held where attendance is taken;
  • No session shall be held where attendance is implicitly or explicitly required;
  • No session shall be held where other schools or organized teams are present and involved in any activity;
  • The KHSAA catastrophic insurance provided by the Association is not in effect during this period; and
  • Heat index monitoring guidelines shall be complied with during any activity;
  • Individuals (no more than four) may attend camps and other competitions at off-site facilities as part of the camp exception.


  • Contained in Bylaw 23 are the contact progression requirements in spring football. The days of practice are specified as to what activity is permitted.
  • Practice sessions shall conform to the following rotation of types of practice;
    • Two days Non-Contact;
    • Two days Contact;
    • One day Non-Contact;
    • Two days Contact;
    • One day Non-Contact; and
    • Two days Contact;
  • Football drill work and practice activity shall be defined in the following five categories:
    • “Level 0” or “air” means that players run a drill unopposed without contact;
    • “Level 1” or “bags” means that a drill is run against a bag or another soft contact surface;
    • “Level 2” or “control” means that a drill is run at an assigned speed until the moment of contact; One (1) player is predetermined the winner by the coach; Contact remains above the waist; and Players stay on their feet.
    • “Level 3” or “Control to Ground” means that a drill is run at an assigned non-competitive speed or with players pre-engaged, there is a pre-determined winner, players are allowed to take their opponent to the ground in a controlled manner.
    • “Level 4” or “thud” means that a drill is run at a competitive speed through the moment of contact; there is no predetermined winner; contact is above the waist; players stay on their feet, and a quick whistle ends the drill; and
    • “Level 5” or “live-action” means that a drill is run at a competitive speed in game-like conditions.
  • Contact and non-contact shall be defined as follows:
    • “Contact” means that drills are run at Level 3, Level 4 or Level 5 as defined above; and
    • “Non-contact” means that drills are run at Level 0, Level 1 or Level 2.
  • Eligible to Participate in Spring Practice
    • A student below grade nine or in grade 12 shall not participate;
    • Only students currently eligible by all KHSAA rules including Bylaws 2 through 14 may participate;
    • Intrasquad games may be held but shall be counted as one of the ten practice sessions;
    • Any student who has neither participated in organized competition in a KHSAA-sanctioned winter or spring sport nor has documentation of supervision by a coach qualified under Bylaw 25 in a minimum of 8 conditioning workouts after the previous season and before the start of spring practice (including competition on a competitive weight lifting team at the school), shall have two (2) days of practice in helmets only and two (2) additional days in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) for acclimation prior to wearing the remainder of the allowable football gear; and
  • There shall be no mandatory participation (including school or coach-imposed penalty) by any person on a spring sports eligibility list (or entering any spring sports scrimmage or contest) or any other student desiring not to participate.


  • No organized team activity may be held in June from June 1 to June 24, and the dead period for all sports begins June 25.
  • This does not preclude individual workouts by enrolled students on campus without the use of equipment as detailed in NFHS Rule 1-5 with the exception of the helmet allowances detailed above in activity approved by the school administration that involved only enrolled students.
  • There is no allowance for attendance at team camps or team-style or game-like competition of any variation (including but not limited to 7 on 7, 11 on 11).

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