Amid increased concern among parents about injuries, the group that oversees interscholastic sports in New Jersey has approved a plan to reduce the amount of full contact that high school football players encounter during a season.
Under new regulations approved last week by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, full-contact sessions during the season will be reduced from a maximum of 90 minutes per week to 15. The NJSIAA’s new limit on full contact during the pre-season — defined as tackling that brings a player to the ground — will be six hours a week, including scrimmages.
“I think these types of rules are really kind of more in line with what we’ve already been doing,” said Kevin Carty, the head coach at Hillsborough High School. “But it kind of gives people confidence to know that if you’re playing high school in the state, you’re going to be treated in this way.”
But DJ Nimphius, who runs the football program at River Dell High School, worries that the new rule can have unintended consequences.
“Maybe we need to start looking at maybe guys that are being tackled don’t know how to defend themselves against being tackled and that’s why we are having this rash of injuries with guys getting tackled in games,” he said.
The new rules do not limit non-tackling contact, such as when lineman collide with each other.
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