With football training camps scheduled to open across the province this weekend, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is pleased to announce new initiatives and regulations that will make greatly improve player health and safety across the league.
Beginning in August 2015, training camp practices involving contact will be limited to three consecutive days in a row. After three days of consecutive contact, a non-contact day must follow.
Non-contact is considered as drills run at full competitive speed through to the moment of contact. At the point of contact, all players should stay high with no lowering of the shoulders or lunging. Contact is to be initiated with the hands and not with the shoulder pads or helmets. A quick whistle ends the rep in the drill.
Practices during the regular season will also have a heightened focus on player health and safety as OUA will mandate that a minimum of one football practice per week be a non-contact practice (excluding day after games and day before games).
Each football program will be required by the league to document how they structure, implement and execute these non-contact workouts.
OUA will also work closely with the therapy teams of each institution to collect injury data and standardized reporting to better aid our efforts to improve player health and safety on the field.
Following the season, OUA will collect feedback from each football program for the purposes of further developing and implementing league wide best practices for the 2016 season.
The aforementioned policy is just one component of a league-wide "Student-Athlete Health Protection Policy" that will be phased in across OUA over the 2015-16 season. The policy includes: standards for Hosting, Institutional Concussion Management and Heat Illness Prevention Polices. The Student-Athlete Health Protection Policy can be found here.
The 2015 OUA football season kicks off with a full slate of games on Sunday, Aug. 30, with the quest for the 108th Yates Cup concluding on Saturday, Nov. 14. Catch all the action live this season on OUA.tv!