(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com on June 23, 2017.)
Across the U.S. this summer, school-age football players are flocking to camps conducted by colleges and commercial interests. They get outfitted in full gear and launch themselves into drills and skills work.
Unlike the start of the interscholastic football season, the players usually do this without several days of acclimatization to avoid heat illness, and without limits on player-to-player contact to reduce head injuries.
Required precautions of the school season are generally ignored at non-school summer camps.
One notable exception to this foolish behavior is found in Michigan where the Michigan High School Athletic Association prohibits member schools’ student-athletes from using full equipment and participating in full-contact activities outside the high school football season. This is not a recent change; it’s been the MHSAA’s explicit policy for more than four decades.
And it’s a policy that has never been more in style and in favor than it is today.