Safety Matters

According to Greg Freiherr, head football coach at Sturgeon Bay High School, new rules adopted by the WIAA to limit player contact during practices will increase player safety while allowing coaches to focus more on the fundamentals of football. The rules will be implemented immediately at Sturgeon Bay High School.

Five basic types of contact are outlined in the rules, as well as an outline on how often and when each type can be used during the different stages of practice.

“If we have four 90-minute practices in a week, less than 20 percent of that practice will involve thud or full contact,” Freiherr said. “That will be enough. We have identified low – or no – impact drills that teach the fundamentals of football for the remaining 80 percent.”

The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association and WIAA developed the new rules in collaboration with three sport advisory doctors. They were unanimously adopted by the WIAA Board of Control.

In the past two years, the Sturgeon Bay High School football staff has launched several initiatives to increase safety.

With generous community support, the high school has purchased new shoulder pads, weight lifting and practice equipment that will help reduce the risk of injury. Door County Dental Care has volunteered to make custom-fit mouth guards for youth and high school athletes.

“It’s our goal to make football in Sturgeon Bay as safe as possible,” Freiherr said. “Teaching proper technique – while limiting contact during practice – will help us achieve that goal.”

For more information call Freiherr at 920.904.2251.