UHSAA takes a step toward reducing dead time for Utah high school sports

Published: Thursday, April 25 2013 9:10 a.m. MDT

FILE -- In this Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 photo, Pleasant Grove junior Madison Wolford, center, celebrates with the rest of her teammates after the Vikings won their Utah State High School Volleyball 5A championship. The UHSAA is considering revising its rules, potentially reducing the amount of dead time in high school sports from 12 weeks to four.

Ben Brewer, Deseret News

MIDVALE — Deciding when high school teams can practice in the offseason may get easier next year.

The Utah High School Activities Association’s Executive Committee took a step toward eliminating the 12 weeks of dead time imposed on teams in the offseason.

“The committee (which studied the issue) proposed going to four weeks of sports specific moratoriums instead of the 12 weeks of dead time,” said UHSAA executive director Rob Cuff.

Currently, teams have 12 weeks of time in which they are not supposed to meet as high school teams to practice or participate in fundraising. But many teams have found the rules confusing as players are allowed to get together for offseason conditioning or workouts, but without the supervision of their high school coaches.

The new proposal, which will be discussed in region meetings before being brought back to the Executive Committee in June, would institute four weeks of sports specific moratorium. Moratoriums mean teams cannot meet, practice, compete or travel. It also forbids the use of school facilities, including weight rooms, outside of the school day.

During the four weeks, coaches could not have player contact or communication related to the sport, organize or conduct meetings, organize or conduct practices, organize or conduct open gym, open court or open pool or the use of batting cages, organize or conduct fundraisers, or observe any potential player related to the sport.

The moratoriums are different for each sport. For example, football’s moratorium is proposed to be two weeks following the state tournament and two weeks beginning with spring (season) tryouts. Volleyball would be four weeks combined with Christmas moratorium, while wrestling would be four weeks beginning Aug. 1.

There are already several holiday moratoriums, including Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.

The committee making the proposal felt it made the rules about when coaches could conduct offseason workouts, meetings or fundraisers more clear. It also gave families some time where they are absolutely not allowed to meet as organized teams.

The proposal will come back to the Executive Committee in June for a second vote and discussion, and then it will head to the Board of Trustees for final approval a week later.

3 officials for girls?

The Executive Committee voted to take a proposal to principals regarding the number of officials used in high school basketball. Currently, 4A and 5A boys teams use three officials while the rest of the teams use two officials. The proposal discussed Wednesday is to have three officials in 5A girls, as well as three officials in 4A and 5A boys.

Cuff said the UHSAA will continue to pay for three officials during tournaments for both boys and girls in 3A, 4A and 5A.

Calendar change

The committee also voted to make a change to the boys soccer playoffs. The 2A boys championships will be held at Juan Diego, while 3A will remain at Jordan.

Twitter.com/adonsports - Email: adonaldson@deseretnews.com

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