Dead period underway for athletes, coaches

Published 3:23 pm Thursday, June 28, 2018

As the clock struck midnight on Sunday, the dead period officially began for athletes in middle and high school. The two-week period will be in place until July 9.

During this time, there is to be “no use of school facilities, team uniforms, equipment, transportation…maintained or producible log of student-activity or anything else related to the athletic program.”

According to KHSAA bylaws, the dead period was established with the well-being of the student-athlete and their families in mind.

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“The dead period was developed following a nearly year-long task force review in the middle-1990s to address a growing issue where year-round athletics was eroding family opportunities for a break from participation, and outside entities were beginning to sponsor a growing amount of school-based summer competition,” the KHSAA bylaw states.

“In addition, over the years, many sometimes overzealous coaches required their players to play scores of games throughout the summer, in addition to a year-round workout regimen. While this may seem to be in the best interest of developing sports talent, such is not the purpose of high school athletics.”

In a release by KHSAA, the organization states that school funds may not be used in support of interscholastic athletics during the period. Coaches are to have no contact with players during this period including email, social media, texting, phone or any other form of communication.

KHSAA pushes the no-contact idea even further by stating coaches or schools cannot use an intermediary to communicate with coaches and players during the dead period — including email, social media, texting and any other form of communication.

Pineville football coach Bart Elam remembers his time as a young coach wanting to get in all the work he possibly could with his team.

“As a young coach, I remember working our kids until the last minute before the dead period, and then starting the very day I could start back,” said Elam. “I realized over the years that the rest was very important to our kids at Pineville. Most of our kids play during every sports season throughout the year. Getting that ‘mental rest’ is very much needed.

“After 12 years, I now give our kids an extra week of dead period. I have found that even though the quantity is a little less, it really helps quality of our sessions throughout the summer leading to better results.”

The organization stresses to school to use the dead period to “recharge batteries, repair facilities, get away from the students (and them away from you).”