Football’s dead week is over; next up, hell week

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The Southwest High School Eagles line up against University City’s Centurions during the CIF quarter-final home playoff game last season in this file photo.

IMPERIAL VALLEY - July 31 marks the transition from the end of dead week to the beginning of hell week in CIF Southern Section Varsity football action with the first flicker of 2017 Imperial Valley League Friday Night lights slated for August 25.

A summer “dead period” must be declared by high schools for all sports. This dead period must be at the same time for all levels and runs three consecutive weeks between the end of school or the first Friday in June, whichever is first, to the start of fall practice.

No class can be offered which could circumvent the rule, and there are no exceptions to the summer dead period, according to article 190 of the CIF Southern Section 2016-2017 Blue Book.

During the dead period, only weight lifting is permitted in training, and absolutely no running or other type of conditioning workouts are permitted.

Once registration day approaches and hell week begins, no football games can be played until the squad has had 14 days of practice before the first game. Each individual student on the team must have at least 10 days of practice before being allowed to compete in a game. No Sunday practice is permitted either, as per section 1901 of article 190.

Hell week rules and practice schedules have been amended for players’ safety to monitor and limit the amount of time that teams can practice as opposed to the hell weeks of years past when it was perceived that the more a team could withstand during the peak summer heat, the better they’d perform during the regular season when the temperature cools.

Now the coach can select from a daily one-time three-hour practice, a split schedule where two two-hour sessions are permitted, or a weekly combination of the two formats.

Teams are limited to two day per week of full contact practices, with no more than 90 minutes of full contact on each of those days during the season of sport, or first day of practice.  All full contact practices are prohibited in the off-season, which includes team camps in accordance with section 1901 of article 190.

Now that the official first week of the 2017 Varsity football season is upon us, a four week turn-around before the first snap is what remains for local teams to iron out any last minute wrinkles and stimulate real time, game speed situations in preparation for another shot at Imperial Valley League bragging rights.