The Georgia High School Association on Monday took some drastic measures to make prep football practices safer.
The GHSA put mandates on how long teams can practice, including banning three-a-days and attaching monetary fines to those who violate the rules in the wake of three-year study showing that the state had more deaths in the sport across all levels than any other in the country.
Some of the changes include: Players must go through five practices in only helmets, shirts and shorts before going to full pads Aug. 1; two-a-day practices can’t occur on consecutive days or exceed five hours in a single day; and practicing in pads is limited to three hours a day.
Violators can be fined up to $1,000.
The report showed that heat-related deaths across the country tripled from 1994-2009.
Two high school players died last August, although one, Fitzgerald High lineman D.J. Searcy, died at a camp in Florida
The GHSA also approved the state’s move to increase classifications from five to six, and officially split the state championship series into a public and a private for Class A for football, basketball, baseball and softball.