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New regulations put stricter guidelines on high school sports practices in Iowa

DONNELLSON, Ia. (WGEM) -

A new study out from Safe Kids Worldwide says young athletes are brought to the ER every 25 seconds for a sports related injury.

But in Iowa, there's no practice at night for many high school teams because of new regulations this year that were set to make kids safer.

The first camp of the year is underway for Central Lee High School football players.

Senior Christian Henriksen says the first week back on the field can be tough.

"If you come in here and haven't done anything all summer it's grueling," said Henriksen.

Unlike last year, this Tuesday morning's practice was the only one of the day because of the new regulations set by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

The rules say teams can't practice more than once a day and the practice can only include up to three hours of physical activity.

Henriksen says he has mixed feelings on the new rules.

"I think there's a disadvantage to that. You know we can't practice our plays as long, but it also keeps us mentally refreshed. Like if you're on the field for fours hours one day and got to go back the next you know it's going to be hard to be prepared for the next practice," said Henriksen.

Coach Randy Hofman says it's going to take some getting used only holding practice once a day.

"I've always done that for over 40 years. We've had two practices a day and we've been okay like that," said Hofman.

The new rules are based on recommendations from the CDC and the National Athletic Trainers Association to make sure kids aren't overexerting themselves.

Hofman says he can see where the IHSAA is coming from with the new guidelines.

"I can see where if the emphasis is on injuries this could potentially be the way to go," said Hofman.

With the new rules already set, Hofman says his team is going to have to be more efficient at practice.

"We don't want to burn any daylight I guess. We want to get as much done in practice as we possibly can, so there's no standing around. We want the kids moving all the time," said Hofman.

These new regulations by the Iowa High School Athletic Association don't just affect football practice, but all sports.

In Illinois and Missouri,  two-a-day practices are allowed, but they do require players to take rests in between practices.

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