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Assistant Athletic Director:
AJ Martinez

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Football Manual Pre-Season Regulations


Pre-Season Regulations

Employment of Coaches
All high school coaches must be full-time employees of the school district EXCEPTION: A retired teacher/administrator who has 20 or more years of experience may serve as an assistant coach in all athletics and as a head coach for golf, tennis, team tennis, cross country, track and field, and swimming. (This rule shall not affect the status of a coach on a leave of absence attending college.) Also, student teachers, while they are assigned to a participant school to fulfill their student teaching requirements, may volunteer to serve as an assistant coach in all athletics. Schools shall not pay student teachers for assisting athletic coaches.
Texas Education Code Requirements (State Law)

TEC Chapter 33.086 - Certification - CPR and First Aid Training

Athletic coaches, athletic trainers, cheerleading sponsors and other head directors of UIL extra-curricular activities must have a current certification filed with the district.

TEC Chapter 22.902 - Certification - AED Training

Athletic coaches and sponsors, school nurses, PE teachers, marching band directors, and students that serve as an athletic trainer must have a current certification filed with the district.

TEC Chapter 33.202 - Annual Requirement – Safety Training

Training provided by UIL within the Rules Compliance Program (RCP). Athletic coaches must complete prior to contact with students.

TEC Chapter 38.158 - Annual Requirement - Concussion Training (2 hours every other year/1 hour annually)

Athletic coaches, athletic trainers and potential members of the Concussion Oversight Team must complete the training annually.

Coaches Certification Program (CCP)

The CCP consists of both UIL and state law requirements and requires a coach to complete the prescribed components on a yearly basis. Completion of the CCP will recognize coaches as UIL certified coaches. All coaches shall annually complete the UIL Coaches Certification Program prescribed by the UIL prior to their sport season or prior to the first day of school if their sport is not in season. A coach who is hired less than one week prior to the start of the sport season or after the first day of school (whichever is earlier) must complete the CCP within thirty (30) days of being hired.

Required CCP Modules:

1. Constitution & Contest Rules

2. Ethics & Sportsmanship

3. UIL Steroid Education

4. Safety Training (state law)

5. Concussion Training (state law)

6. Sport Specific Training – each sport has a sport specific CCP module

7. Football coaches only – Best Practices in Tackling (Atavus) certification that will be required for all first-year football coaches or those coaches who have not completed both 1.0 and 2.0.

8. First Year Coaches Only - Fundamentals of Coaching in Texas – required for first year coaches (or JH volunteers) or coaches in their first year to coach in the state of Texas.

9. Cheerleading Coach/Sponsor only - Safety/Risk Minimization for Cheerleading Course

     A. Must have a current certification or annual training completed prior to contact with participants.

     B. Districts shall determine the organization that will provide the certification or training. Resources are available but not limited to those on the UIL web site.

UIL Eligibility for Athletic Contests

Section 403: Eligibility - Athletics

Subchapter O, Section 480: Limitation on Awards

Student Participation Required Forms
It shall be the responsibility of each school to keep on file the following required annual forms for each student who participates in any practice, scrimmage, or game. Forms can be found on the Athletics website here.

Forms for all students:

Pre-Participation Physical Examination Form. As a minimum requirement, a Physical Examination Form must be completed prior to junior high athletic participation and again prior to first and third years of high school athletic participation. Local district policy may require an annual physical exam. The form must be filled in and signed by either a Physician, a Physician Assistant licensed by a State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners, a Registered Nurse recognized as an Advanced Practice Nurse by the Board of Nurse Examiners, or a Doctor of Chiropractic. Examination forms signed by any other health care practitioner, will not be accepted.

Medical History Form. Each year prior to any practice or participation a UIL Medical History Form signed by both a student and a parent or guardian is required. A Medical History Form shall accompany each physical examination and shall be signed by both a student and a parent or guardian.

Parent or Guardian Permit. Annual participation permit signed by the student’s parent or guardian.

Rules Acknowledgment Form. Annual UIL Rules Acknowledgment Form signed by the student and the student’s parent or guardian.

Parent/Student Anabolic Steroid Use and Random Steroid Testing Form. The parent/guardian of each high school athlete, along with each high school athlete, must annually sign the UIL Illegal Steroid Use and Random Steroid Testing Parent and Student Notification/Agreement Form.

Concussion Acknowledgement Form. Annual UIL Concussion Acknowledgment Form signed by the student and the student’s parent or guardian.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Form. Annual UIL Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Form signed by the student and the student's parent or guardian.

Forms for Varsity Participation

Eligibility Form. Schools must submit comprehensive eligibility blanks for football, basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, and soccer.  For all other athletic activities general alphabetical listing of eligible athletes is required.  One copy shall be sent to the district executive committee chair and one copy shall be filed in the school’s office.  Completed eligibility forms are to be signed by the superintendent or a designated administrator and the coach.  These forms are to be postmarked before a contestant is allowed to participate in a varsity contest.  Failure to furnish correct and complete information may, upon request by the proper committee, constitute grounds for suspension.

Previous Athletic Participation Form. New students in grades 9-12 who represented their former school in a varsity or sub-varsity athletic contest or practice in grades 8-12 in any previous school year must have a Previous Athletic Participation Form completed prior to participation in a varsity contest at the new school.

Late Forms. If an eligibility form or a Previous Athletic Participation Form was not filed prior to competition, and it was an inadvertent error and the student is actually eligible under Subchapter M of the Constitution, the district executive committee is not required to demand forfeiture or to rule the student ineligible.  They may assess the minimum penalty of private reprimand to the school.

Foreign Exchange Students. Subject to the other eligibility rules of the Constitution, foreign exchange students in approved CSIET foreign exchange programs are allowed to apply for exceptions to the residence rule through the UIL waiver process. A waiver could be granted in certain activities if they have not received advanced training or have not had extensive experience in the activity of their choice.  Foreign exchange students are not eligible for varsity athletic participation unless they are granted a Foreign Exchange Student Waiver.

Varsity Athletic Eligibility for Over-Age Student. Subject to the other eligibility rules of the UIL Constitution, an individual is eligible to participate in a League varsity athletic contest as a representative of a participant school if that individual is less than 19 years old on September 1 preceding the contest; or has been granted eligibility based on a handicapping condition which delayed his or her education by at least one year and the student is currently in special education and under the auspices of an ARD Committee or has been identified as a 504 student prior to the end of their second year in high school (effective for entering ninth graders in the current school year). 



All high school varsity players are required to wear helmets that meet NOCSAE standards. Any team not wearing NOCSAE approved helmets will be in violation of NCAA rules. Warning labels shall be placed on the outside lower rear portion of the helmet.

Football Helmet Safety Requirements

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.

(d) The University Interscholastic League may adopt rules necessary to implement this section, provided that the rules must be approved by the commissioner in accordance with Section 33.083(b).

Fitting the Football Helmet

Although the helmet is not capable of eliminating head injuries completely, it does appear to lessen their severity. An improperly fitted and/or improperly worn helmet increases the chances for head injuries to occur. This outline depicts the procedural steps necessary to insure proper fitting and proper wearing of the helmet.

The comments below concern fitting the suspension helmet, padded, air, and fluid liner helmets.

General Preparation

Fit helmet at normal hair length. 

  • Observe any noticeable head shape variation such as long, oval-shaped head, a slanting forehead, a heavy brow, or 
an extra-long occipital bone, etc. 


Football Helmet Warning Stickers: Helmet warning labels must be on each football helmet. 

Regulation on Football Helmet for the First Four Days of Practice: Football helmets may be worn the first four days of practice. There shall be no contact activities during these four days. 

Chin Strap Fit 

Adjust to a tight position with equal tension on both sides. A tight chin strap protects better. 
 The four-point chin strap is required.

Jaw Pad Fit

A correct-size jaw pad fits the jaw area snugly and prevents lateral rocking of the helmet. 
 Jaw pads are available in different sizes.

Side-to-Side Check 

Make a quick visual examination to be sure that the fit is close to being correct. 
 Have player hold his head straight forward and try to turn the helmet on his head. Helmet should turn only slightly 
if the fit is correct.

Proper Method of Entering Helmet 

Put thumbs in ear; hold with fingers up along side of helmet. 
 Put on directly over head, tilted to back, and rotate it to front while pulling it down into position. 

Tooth and Mouth Protectors

Mouthpieces are required for all players. It is mandatory that all players wear tooth and mouth protectors. It is a part of the equipment necessary to participate in a game. This requirement will be enforced by the game officials. If the referee discovers that a player is not wearing a tooth and mouth protector as required, the offending player is not to be allowed to enter or continue in the game until there is compliance with the rule.

“Each player shall wear an intra-oral (within the mouth) mouth and tooth protector which includes an occlusal (protecting and separating the biting surfaces) and a labial (protecting the lips) portion. It is recommended that the protector be 1) constructed from a model made from an impression of the individual’s teeth or 2) constructed and fitted to the individual by impressing his teeth into the mouth and tooth protector itself.”

Occlusal, as used in the rule, means the protector must separate the biting surfaces of the teeth. Some authorities have stated that the teeth separation should be 1/16 of an inch. The occlusal portion of the guard generally will afford protection from blows from beneath the chin, which frequently result in chipped teeth. In addition, the occlusal portion tends to absorb shock from blows underneath the chin, thereby reducing the possibility of concussion. The wording of the rule enables a free choice of protector selection on the part of the coach or player. While it is recommended that the protectors be of the “fitted” type, it is not mandatory that they be so. Colored mouthpieces: Any other readily visible colored mouthpieces with FDA-approved base materials (FDCS) shall be mandatory. White or clear material is not permitted.

NOCSAE Manual Helmet Information

Licensed reconditioners themselves test used helmets to the original standard applicable when the helmet was new.

The NOCSAE helmet standards are voluntary test standards that have been developed to reduce head injuries by established requirements of impact attenuation for football helmets/face masks, baseball/softball batting helmets, baseball and softballs, and lacrosse helmets/face masks. These standards are adopted by various regulatory bodies for sports, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

NOCSAE continually studies all types of helmets and test conditions, and the severity of the tests will be changed when credible evidence is presented that such changes will affect injury reduction.

The NOCSAE helmet standard is not a warranty, but simply a statement that a particular helmet met the requirements

of performance tests when it was manufactured or reconditioned. For football helmets, NOCSAE does recommend that the consumer adhere to a program of periodically having used helmets recertified. Because of the difference in the amount and intensity of usage on each helmet, the consumer should use discretion regarding the frequency with which certain helmets are to be recertified. Those helmets which meet the NOCSAE standard must bear the seal, “Meets NOCSAE standards” and the logo for that type of helmet. The seal and the logo are permanently branded on the outside rear portion of the helmet.

The NOCSAE standard does not require the use of specific brand name replacement parts when helmets are reconditioned. Neither the test nor the performance standard call for any specific materials or designs. The standard speaks only to the performance for the helmet when new, or after reconditioning and rectification.

A list of NOCSAE licensed reconditioners, contact information and other additional information is available from the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association at

NOCSAE Statement on Third Party Helmet Add-On Products and Certification

There are many new products on the market that are intended to be added to helmets, in particular football helmets, which products claim to reduce concussions and make helmets safer and more protective. Whether these are additional liners or padding on the inside, or bumpers, pads, coverings or electronic devices that attach to the outside of the helmet, these products were not included in the certification testing and quality control programs that are required for all helmets that are certified to the NOCSAE standards. To address this situation, and to protect the integrity of the NOCSAE standards, the NOCSAE board of directors has adopted the following position:
“NOCSAE helmet standards are specific to models which are identical in all aspects, except as to size. The testing required to support the certification is also specific to the model being certified. NOCSAE standards require that any change in configuration, padding, shell geometry, or protective system requires a new model designation with separate certification testing. The addition of after-market items by anyone that changes or alters the protective system by adding or deleting protective padding to the inside or outside of the helmet, or which changes or alters the geometry of the shell or adds mass to the helmet, whether temporary or permanent, voids the certification of compliance with the NOCSAE standard.”

Effective January 1, 2017 - NAERA members will not recondition/recertify any football helmet 10 years of age or older.
NOCSAE has also updated their language concerning recertification.

NOCSAE 6.1.1. Helmets intended to be recertified shall have a recertification interval provided by the manufacturer. Certification life is limited to this time period. Helmets not recertified during the stated interval shall no longer be certified. Recertification interval required for warranty validation shall satisfy this requirement.

NAERA (National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association) recommends every football helmet should be reconditioned annually. Only companies licensed by NOCSAE to recertify football, lacrosse and baseball/softball helmets can perform the recertification. For a list of NAERA members that are licensed by NOCSAE please visit the NAERA web site

Helmets that no longer meet the NOCSAE standard are rejected from the reconditioning/recertification process. NAERA members notify the organization or school that sent in the helmets of the rejected helmets.

For more information and a list of NAERA members please see our website at

 Or contact Tony Beam, Executive Director of NAERA 717 317-2143