New School Year Means New Athletic Rule Changes
By Mark Cousins, Athletic Director | Tuesday, June 05, 2012 8:01 AM
“Out with the old…….In with the new.” This has been a favorite saying of mine, however, I am not sure where it originally came from and am too lazy to go online and actually figure it out. Nonetheless, it does still ring true to me in many ways. My problem is that I have trouble throwing things out (anyone who has seen my desk can attest to that!) and with the "new" things coming and changing at an ever increasing rate, it is harder and harder to keep up.
The same can be said when it comes to UIL rules and programs. Even though we are just nearing the end of the current (old) school year, preparations for the new school year have long been underway. Below are a number of "new" things member schools, coaches and administrators will experience as we move to the 2012-13 school year.
Concussion Training – Every coach and athletic trainer is required by state law (TEC 38.159) to undergo two hours of training on concussions prior to Sept. 1, 2012. Information on this requirement is available on the Concussion Information page on the Health and Safety section of the UIL website. UIL has also made available a syllabus that providers of concussion education can utilize to provide statewide consistency to the training programs.
Concussion Acknowledgement Form - The UIL has created a Concussion Acknowledgement Form, which will be required for all student athletes in grades 7-12 beginning with the 2012-13 school year, as a result of the passage of HB 2038 from the 2011 legislative session.
According to section 38.155 of the Texas Education Code, "a student may not participate in an interscholastic athletic activity for a school year until both the student and the student ’s parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student have signed a form for that school year that acknowledges receiving and reading written information that explains concussion prevention, symptoms, treatment, and oversight and that includes guidelines for safely resuming participation in an athletic activity following a concussion….." This new form is available for download on the UIL website.
Football Helmets – While we talked about this last year as information, a law was also passed regarding football helmets utilized in any high school football game. Effective for the 2012-13 school year, according to section Sec. 33.094 of the Texas Education Code:
(a) A school district may not use a football helmet that is 16 years old or older in the district's football program.
(b) A school district shall ensure that each football helmet used in the district's football program that is 10 years old or older is reconditioned at least once every two years.
(c) A school district shall maintain and make available to parents of students enrolled in the district documentation indicating the age of each football helmet used in the district's football program and the dates on which each helmet is reconditioned.
Area Track Meets – In Track and Field, all conferences will add a area track meet to the post season schedule, between the district meet and the regional meet. These area track meets are required, however there will be options for those scenarios where district executive committee’s desire flexibility and can get majority support from both districts. Please see the Track and Field Area Meet FAQ posted at the end of this article for information about these meets.
Pre-Season Practice Limitations – The UIL Medical Advisory Committee recommended, and the UIL Legislative Council passed alterations to the current pre-season practice limitations for athletic activities that practice outside the school year. The primary changes dealt with increasing the amount of rest time required between two practices from one hour to two hours of rest time; and the other change will no longer allow schools to schedule multiple practices on consecutive days (exception: volleyball). Additional information on these updated pre season practice limitations is available on the UIL website and additional information regarding how these changes could impact preseason football practice will be made available in the coming weeks.
Girls Cross Country Distance Change for 4A and 5A - Following a referendum ballot of all UIL member school superintendents, for the 2012-13 school year, the distance for 4A and 5A district, regional and state girls cross country races will be increased to three miles from two miles. The distance for 1A, 2A and 3A district, regional and state girls cross country races will remain the same as previous years after ballots in those conferences supported keeping the distance as is.
Soccer End of Game Tie Breaker – Starting with the 2012-13 school year, soccer games that are tied at the end of regulation play and overtime periods will be settled with Penalty Kicks, rather than the previous 35 yard shoot out process.
Golf State Tournament Qualification – Beginning with the new school year the number of qualifiers from the regional golf tournament to the golf state tournament will increase to 3 teams and three individuals per region instead of two teams and two individuals.
This is not an exhaustive list of all rule changes for the 2012-13 school year, but will provide schools, coaches and administrators a good head start on preparing for the coming school year. Best of luck on the rest of this school year and hope everyone has a safe and restful summer.