Subchapter C: ATHLETICS (1250)
Section 1250: FOOTBALL PLAN
- (a) ATHLETIC PURPOSES, CODES, PLAN APPLICABLE.
- Rules in Sections 1200-1209 also apply to the Football Plan.
- (b) DATES AND OFF-SEASON REGULATIONS.
(1) Spring Training. There shall be no school football practice or training for a contestant or team, and no football equipment issued after the close of the regular season schedule, except as incidental to the football championship playoffs, and in Conferences 5A and 6A only, 18 spring training practice days which may be conducted in a period of 34 consecutive calendar days. Exception: Conference 5A and 6A schools may choose not to conduct the 18 days of spring training, replacing said training the next school year by following the workout days as specified for Conferences 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A.
(A) The first two days of spring training shall be conducted without any contact equipment except helmets.
(B) During spring training, a maximum of 12 practices may contain full contact. Refer to the football manual for explanations of full contact.
(C) During spring training, football players are not allowed to participate in more than 90 minutes of full contact practice per week. Refer to the football manual for explanations of full contact.
(D) During spring training, a maximum of three practices per calendar week may include full contact.
(2) Off-Season Workouts. Accelerated physical education activities, calisthenics, individual football skills, strength training or conditioning exercises may be conducted during the school term within the school day provided such activities do not exceed one regular classroom period, not to exceed 60 minutes per day (or 300 minutes per week on a block schedule). Practice may include eleven-on-eleven drills without contact activities or equipment. Activities before or after school or during the lunch period are specifically prohibited. Allowed equipment is limited to a football, cleated shoes, passing and punting machines and physical education attire. Air or padded blocking dummies or devices, and other similar devices are prohibited. Refer to Section 1206 (d).
(3) Summer Practice. Refer to Section 1206 (h).
(4) Summer Camps. For rules and applicable penalties refer to Section 1209.
(5) Fall Practice, Beginning Dates.
(A) Practice Regulations Outside the School Year. Any football practice conducted by a school outside the school year shall be in accordance with the following regulations:
(i) Student-athletes shall not engage in more than three hours of practice activities, with up to a one hour break, on those days during which one practice is conducted. The one hour break is not included as a part of the practice time limit. Total time shall not exceed four hours.
(ii) A one-hour walkthrough is allowed on days during which one practice is conducted. There shall be, at a minimum, two hours of rest/recovery time between the end of one practice and the beginning of the walkthrough.
(iii) Student-athletes shall not engage in more than five hours of practice activities on those days during which more than one practice is conducted.
(iv) The maximum length of any single practice session shall be three hours.
(v) On days when more than one practice is conducted, there shall be, at a minimum, two hours of rest/recovery time between the end of one practice and the beginning of the next practice.
(vi) Schools shall not schedule more than one practice on consecutive days and student-athletes shall not participate in multiple practices on consecutive days.
(B) In Conferences 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A and all 9th graders in 5A and 6A, practice shall begin no earlier than the date set forth by the UIL calendar. In Conferences 5A and 6A, practice shall begin no earlier than the date set forth by the UIL calendar. Exception: If Conference 5A or 6A schools forego the 18 days of spring training, they may begin workout days on the date set forth by the UIL calendar as delineated for Conferences 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A and all 5A and 6A 9th graders. Interschool scrimmages shall be allowed on the date set forth by the UIL calendar.
(C) Acclimatization Period. The first two days of practice shall be conducted without any contact equipment except helmets. Other contact equipment may be fitted and placed in lockers. During the first two days, however, only shoes, socks, T-shirts, shorts and helmets may be worn. On the third and fourth days of practice, helmets, shoulder pads and padded girdles (shells) may be worn, but no player to player contact is allowed. On day five of the acclimatization period, helmets, shoulder pads and padded girdles (shells) may be worn, and player to player contact is permitted. During the five-day acclimatization period, no full contact activities shall be permitted. All student-athletes who arrive after the first day of practice are required to undergo a five-day acclimatization period. During the five-day acclimatization period and subject to the rules as noted in (A) (i-vi) above, if more than one practice is conducted on the same day, the second practice shall be a teaching period/walkthrough practice only with no conditioning or contact activities/equipment permitted. At a minimum, there must be two hours of rest/recovery time between the end of one practice and the beginning of the walkthrough.
(D) Football equipment is interpreted to mean football shoulder pads, hip pads, thigh pads, shoes, helmets, football pants or any other equipment used primarily in football. Football practice or training is interpreted to mean any organized instruction in football plays, formations or team skills.
(E) Ninth grade football practice shall correspond with the high school dates whether the ninth grade is in high school, junior high or on a separate campus. Exception: 5A and 6A ninth graders may start on the date set forth by the UIL calendar as delineated for Conferences 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A.
(F) Interschool Games. With the exception of certain sub-varsity games as outlined in the Football Manual, no high school (9-12) interschool games shall be allowed until the date set forth by the UIL calendar. However, schools that play prior to the first Thursday in September shall omit a scrimmage and have an open date during the season. Refer to Section 1478 for 7th and 8th grade regulations.
(G) During the pre-season, regular season and post-season, football players are not allowed to participate in more than 90 minutes of full contact practice per week. Refer to the Football Manual for explanations of full contact.
(6) Preseason or Summer Practice for Seventh and Eighth Grade or Elementary School Students Prohibited. Schools may not:
(A) hold any preseason football practice in junior high school (eighth grade and below) or elementary school, individual or team, prior to the opening day of school; or
(B) conduct any spring training either in elementary school or seventh and eighth grade the preceding spring. This section does not prevent students from participating in summer camps, as allowed in Section 1209. Penalty for violations shall be assessed by the appropriate executive committee.
(7) Spring Training For Ninth Graders Restricted. Students in the ninth grade may participate in spring training in Conference 5A and 6A schools provided:
(A) that such participation is at the same time as the high school squad practices; and
(B) that said high school is the one which the ninth-grade students will attend the following fall. Penalty for violations shall be assessed by the appropriate executive committee.
- (c) 1A FOOTBALL.
- Schools may choose to participate in 1A football with an enrollment of 104.9 or below. If enrollment in grades 9-12 is greater than 104.9, and the school is currently playing 1A football, it may continue to participate if any one of these three conditions exist: Enrollment of 104.9 or below in grades 7, 8, 9 and 10, or grades 8, 9, 10 and 11, or grades 9 and 10 doubled. The pertinent figures that total 104.9 or below shall be submitted with reclassification and realignment figures.
- (d) PLAYOFF ELIMINATIONS ALL CONFERENCES.
- District representatives are bracketed for elimination play to the state championships on a weekly schedule beginning the first weekend after the specified date for determining district representatives. State elimination games may not be scheduled earlier than the first Thursday after the certification date for district representatives.
- (e) NUMBER OF GAMES; TIME BETWEEN GAMES.
(1) Maximum Number of Regular Season Games. No team or student shall participate in more than 10 games during the 11-week regular season, prior to bi-district play. Exception: See below for ten-team districts that zone. Some districts do not play bi-district games and have 12 weeks to play 10 regular season games.
(2) Exception For Ten-Team Districts That Zone. A football district that contains 10 schools, by majority vote of the District Executive Committee, may subdivide into zones for contest purposes. Districts that choose this option are allowed to schedule and play one additional regular season game to determine an overall district champion. This additional game is only allowed for the first and second place team in each zone. Districts choosing this option are required to play their first game during the first week games are allowed. Refer to Section 28 (k) for information on zones.
(3) Minimum Time Between Regular Season Games. Up to and including the final district game, no team or student in any conference shall be permitted to take part in more than one game within five calendar days. Example: A team playing Saturday night cannot play again until the following Thursday night. A team playing Monday night could play any time on Saturday.
(4) Minimum Time Between Playoff Games. No team or student in any conference shall be permitted to take part in more than one playoff game within six calendar days, unless mutually agreeable to play within five calendar days. This rule also applies to the first playoff game.
- (f) PRACTICE SCRIMMAGE.
A practice scrimmage is a meeting of up to four teams for practice purposes which does not count as a game for any of the teams. Admission may be charged. Officials may be paid in accordance with the schedule in Section 1204 and may, by prior agreement with the school, be reimbursed for mileage and meals. Refer to Section 1204 (n) and (o). There shall be no kickoff.
(1) Scrimmages. No team or student shall participate in more than one interschool football scrimmage during any given period of five calendar days, prior to the playing of the first football game.
(A) Example: A team scrimmaging on Saturday cannot scrimmage again until the following Thursday.
(B) A team scrimmaging on Saturday may play a game or scrimmage the next Thursday. (Five calendar day rule applies.)
(C) No team or student may participate in more than three scrimmages.
(2) Scrimmage Limits. No interschool scrimmages shall be allowed after a school has played its first interschool game in football.
- (g) EXPENSES.
Expenses of visiting teams, officials, advertising, labor, services and printing incident to the contest shall be considered as expenses of the game. These expenses shall be itemized with supporting bills, properly receipted. Number of participants allowed upon expense account shall be agreed upon by the school administration of the teams involved. Unless mutually agreeable otherwise, the home team will furnish a playing field without cost to the visiting school.
(1) Seating. The visiting team has the right to demand one-half of the stadium seats in relation to the 50-yard line in all UIL football contests, whether district games, non-district games or playoff games, unless mutually agreed otherwise by the two schools involved. A visiting team can demand one half of the reserved seats. A visiting team has a right to split the stadium in relation to the 50-yard line, subject to the end zone situation being equal, unless mutually agreeable otherwise.
(2) Season Tickets. Proceeds from the sale of season tickets are considered a part of the receipts of the game.
(3) Radio, Television Proceeds. Proceeds from radio and television are considered a part of the receipts of the game.
(4) Gate Receipts. Refer to Section 1208 (j).
- (h) TIED GAMES.
(1) Non-district Varsity, District Varsity and Post-District Games. The NCAA overtime system shall be used in all non-district varsity games, district varsity games and post-district games tied at the end of regulation play. (Refer to Football Manual.)
(2) Other Games. The NCAA overtime system shall not be used in any sub-varsity games or junior high games.
- (i) SITE AND DAY OF GAME.
(1) Non-District Games. Mutual agreement determines site and day of game.
(2) District Games. District schedules, unless unanimously agreeable otherwise, shall be made by a draw for a two-year period. Home team may designate the day of the game. Exception: When a school district has more than one home game per week and only one stadium, the day of the game shall be determined by a draw unless mutually agreeable otherwise. Starting time shall be set by the District Executive Committee, unless mutually agreeable otherwise.
(3) Playoff Games. Excluding state championship games, unless mutually agreeable otherwise, the place for playing a playoff game shall be determined on a “home and home” basis for the past two football seasons. The team that was the visiting team the last time the two teams met on a home field in a post-district playoff game may require the game be played at its home field. In case of disagreement between two teams who have not played a post-district playoff game during the past two football seasons, the game site shall be decided by a coin toss. A school cannot be required to flip for a playoff site that is not large enough to accommodate the fans from both schools. Exception: In 5A and 6A, for the first round of the playoffs only, the opponent with the higher district finish will determine whether the game is played on its home field or mutually agree to play the game at a neutral site. If the opponents have the same district finish, the two teams will flip a coin or agree on a neutral site.
(4) Home Sites. When two schools flip for two separate sites other than their home field, the sites are considered home sites unless both sites are near mid-point.
(5) Neutral Sites. A site mid-point or near mid-point or a site agreed on by both schools as neutral, is a neutral site. Unless mutually agreeable, a site cannot be neutral if it is more than two-thirds the total distance between the two schools.
(6) Playoff Contract. Post-season contracts should show either home site, neutral site or mutually agreed-on site.
(7) Day of Game. The home team may designate the day of the game for non-district games during the regular season only. Exception: If the visiting school has to miss class time to travel to the game, the game shall be played on a non-school day unless mutually agreed otherwise.
- (j) SIXTEEN PERCENT POST-DISTRICT RECEIPTS.
- Sixteen percent of the gross receipts of post-district games shall be paid to the UIL. The radio broadcast receipts and the telecast receipts are considered a part of the game receipts in all post-district games.
- (k) NO INTERSCHOOL SPRING SCRIMMAGE OR POST-SEASON FOOTBALL GAMES..
- No member school shall play any football game, practice or scrimmage with another high school after the close of its season. The penalty for violation of this rule shall be assessed by the State Executive Committee.
- (l) POST-SEASON GAMES.
- No school may engage in any postseason game, other than in regular interdistrict playoffs scheduled by the UIL. A postseason football game in all conferences is one played between two schools after the deadline for certifying district representatives. The penalty for violation of this rule shall be assessed by the State Executive Committee.
- (m) TRAINING RESTRICTED TO LOCAL ISD.
- The pre-season conditioning and fall training period shall be conducted on the campus of the local school or on a site controlled by the school board and lying within the boundaries of the school district. On-campus workout sessions which involve meals and/or overnight lodging are prohibited.
(n) Refer to football manual for NCAA rules exceptions.
- (o) GAME VIDEOS.
- Playoff teams are required to exchange all videos leading up to the playoff game to include regular season and post-season games. Upon mutual agreement, teams may agree on trading a specific number of games.
(1) All videos must be traded by noon on the day following the last game played by the two teams involved. Example: Team (A) plays on Friday and Team (B) plays on Saturday, all videos must be traded by noon on Sunday. By mutual agreement games may be traded earlier.