Clearing Up the CBA Rules
Head coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t the only one who had questions about what the new CBA allows as far as training camp practices go — plenty of people have asked me what the rules are, so I looked it up and I believe I have the answers to some of the questions.
Article 23, Section 6a defines the nubmer of practices a team may hold during training camp as follows:
“…two-a-day practices shall be permitted, subject to the following rules: i. players may be on the field for a total of no more than four hours per day; ii. players may participate in no more than one padded practice per day, which shall be no longer than three hours of on-field activities; iii. there must be at least a three hour break after the practice; and iv. the second practice on the same day may only be for a maximum of the remaining available on-field time, and shall be limited to only “walk-through” instruction (i.e., no helmets, full-speed pre-snap, and walking pace after the snap).
The three-hour limit on padded practices shall begin as soon as position coaches begin to coach players on the field.
Now here’s the part that would have applied to today’s practice which was interrupted by inclement weather:
In the event that a Club begins a padded practice but such practice is cancelled within sixty minutes of its commencement due to inclement weather or for any other reason beyond the Club’s control, such practice shall not count as a padded practice under this Article or Article 24.
Today’s practice was unofficially interrupted at about 2:30, at least according to my watch. So if the practice began promptly at 1:30 and was interrupted before 2:30, then it wouldn’t have counted as a padded practice and head coach Tom Coughlin could have rescheduled it for later in the day if he wanted.
If however the practice ran 61 minutes, and they were forced to cancel, then had Coughlin scheduled a second practice session, he wouldn’t have been able to make it padded as per Article 23, Section 6a.iv, above.
A padded practice, by the way, is defined by the CBA under Article 24, Section 1c as:
“a practice in which players are required to wear helmets and shoulder pads, in addition to any other equipment required by the Club, subject to the exceptions set forth in Article 23, Section 6(b).” (The emphasis is mine.)
As far as the number of padded practices a club may hold during camp, there doesn’t appear to be any limit just so long as the team doesn’t exceed the maximum number of hours per day, and, as per Article 23, Section 6, teams do not come out in pads “during the second and third days of Preseason Training Camp.”