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Teams get used to new time limits

Posted: August 15, 2014 10:16 p.m.
Updated: August 15, 2014 10:16 p.m.

West Ranch second-year head coach Jan Miller talks to his players on Thursday at West Ranch High School. Miller said CIF Bylaw 506 hasn't affected his practices too much thus far.

With the start of the football season less than two weeks away, teams around the Santa Clarita Valley have been hard at work preparing.

But with CIF Bylaw 506, which took effect on July 1 and limits practice time to 18 hours per week, coaches have to be more efficient with their time.

“It hurt us maybe three to four hours during the week,” said West Ranch head coach Jan Miller. “We tried not to cut too much of one thing. One day we’ll shorten conditioning a little bit and have one side of the ball get into the weight room and get the other side in the next day. We just have to be better at managing our time. The extra time was a convenience.”

With coaches not wanting to miss any time on the field, other areas like chalk talk and film study are being shortened in order to stay within the time limits.

“I personally think that film study shouldn’t take away from the available time because there’s no physical exertion there,” Miller said. “Now we’re kind of like giving homework to our kids. I’ll tell them that I put a couple of clips on Hudl (a website where coaches can put film and share it with players and other coaches) and tell them to watch it and tell me later what they saw. We’re putting more faith in them doing work on their own without coaches’ supervision.”

Under Bylaw 506, practice is defined as any school or team activity organized by the coach intended to maintain or improve student-athletes’ proficiency in a sport. It also bars teams from holding twice-a-day practices on consecutive days and mandates a three-hour break in between sessions.

That includes drills, scrimmages or games, weight training, chalk talk, film study or meetings outside of school implicitly or explicitly required by the coach.

Any activity during school hours, like weightlifting or film study during the final class period, doesn’t count towards the 18-hour limit.

As some coaches have had to rearrange their scheduling and cut time in areas, other have been operating like they always have been.

“I laughed when I heard about the 18-hour limit because I never did it,” said Trinity head coach Les Robinson, who was an assistant at Saugus High from 2004-2010 and at Santa Clarita Christian for the past three seasons. “In my opinion you’re just wearing them out. I don’t think it’ll effect any of the coaches in Santa Clarita because they’re all smart guys and they’ve been in the game for a long time and they run organized practices.”

Small schools are in a unique position because their rosters are typically smaller and many of the athletes play on both sides of the ball.

Those factors force small school coaches to be mindful of overexerting their players.

“We have less guys so we can’t overdo it because a couple of injuries would really hurt us,” said SCCS head coach Garrick Moss. “But I think the CIF is doing a good job of protecting the athletes. It’s good to be reminded that it’s a game and these guys aren’t getting paid. It’s not their job and we don’t want them to get burned out.”


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