2012-08-02 / Sports

High schools to begin fall season

Practices for various sports begin Aug. 6

EAST LANSING – The 2012- 13 fall sports season officially begins next week, when approximately 110,000 student athletes begin practice in eight sports.

Practice sessions begin on Aug. 6 in football, followed by all other sports on Aug. 8.

Practice in football must begin on Aug. 6 for all schools wishing to begin regular season games the weekend of Aug. 23-26. Schools must have 12 days of preseason practice at all levels before their first game, which may not occur before 16 calendar days.

All football schools must also conduct at least three days of practice before beginning contact, and those sessions may not include any pads.

In golf and tennis, competition may commence no earlier than after three separate days of team practice, and not before seven calendar days. The first day competition may take place in golf and tennis is Aug. 15.

In all other fall sports, contests can take place after seven days of practice for the team and not before nine calendar days. The first day competition may take place in cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, and volleyball in the fall is Aug. 17.

This year, two football dates precede Labor Day, and Thursday varsity games will take place both weeks. Subvarsity competition may begin on Aug. 22.

In Week 1, 81 games will be played on Thursday, 222 contests will be played on Friday, and 23 games will be played on Saturday.

The following weekend, 239 games will be played on Thursday, 67 games will be played on Friday, and 5 games will be played on Saturday.

There are several significant rules changes on football for 2012:

• On passing plays, a receiver must first contact and establish control of the ball while inbounds – regardless of the opponent’s action. In other words, a catch cannot be ruled on plays where the receiver may have come down in bounds if notGolffor theTournamentaction of the

• If a player’s helmetNewspaperdefender.comes off during a play, and did not occur as a result of a foul by the opponent, that player must leave the game for one play, unless it happens on the final play of a half or an overtime.

• Hand contact by a blocker below the waist of a defender is now considered blocking below the waist.

• The kicking team may not contact a member of receiving team on a kickoff until the ball has traveled

10 yards, or unless a member of the receiving team initiates the contact.

• Jerseys of the visiting team must be white in color, and home jerseys are restricted in the use of white for varsity competition. This was a rule change made in 2007 for implementation this season.

The 2012 fall campaign culminates with post-season tournaments beginning with the Upper

Peninsula Girls Tennis Finals the week of Oct. 1, and wraps up with Ad:the LayoutFootball Playoff2 8/1/Finals2012on Nov.11:29

23-24.

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