CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Board of Education tabled a proposal that would have allowed high school athletic teams to practice throughout the summer, primarily because of strong response from critics.

On Wednesday, the board sent the proposal back to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission for additional study.

“I’ve never received so many comments,” said Bob Dunlevy, secretary of the state Board of Education. “There’s a lot of opposition there.”

Summer practices currently are limited to a three-week window, and that will continue to be the case at least through this summer and next. The change would have given school principals the option of authorizing additional voluntary practice times for most other summer weeks, with the exception of the week of July 4.

Supporters of the change have argued extending practices would allow for more flexibility and improved athletic training while helping high school sports—such as football—where conditioning workouts are already part of the summer routine.

Critics, though, have said more practices would lead to additional injuries and burnout for student-athletes.  There were questions about what the change would mean for coaches who are paid stipends that do not currently cover summer months, along with the effects on other summer academic and athletic programs.

The board declined to include the proposal on the agenda for an upcoming 30-day comment period, but it could be taken up again later.

“We haven’t voted it down. We’ve just tabled it,” Dunlevy said Thursday on MetroNews “Talkline.”

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  • Sean

    The only way i see it working is if they block off sports in 3 week blocks. Spring sports in a 3 week block, then winter sports in a 3 week block, and fall sports in a 3 week block. Then there won't be any conflict with athletes playing multiple sports and it still won't be really too much on the student athlete.

  • Kary Garstens

    I for one am glad they won't allow more practices. All that violent tackling and brutal high fiving. Crazy cleat happy young Republicans kicking those soccer balls. And the humiliation of not being good enough. No one slapping my tushy even when I did catch the football in gym class. And no one bothering to tea bag me in the locker room when I was jock strap boy for the basketball team. It's like I was invisible. YEESH!!! Oh the horror. When will it end?

    • Fiscal Conservative

      What are you even saying, is that a rational thought?

      • Kary Garstens

        Read the comments from some other stories and pay attention to name spelling and you will understand. It wasn't meant to make sense. Just to make fun of someone who NEVER makes sense.

        • Fiscal Conservative

          Oh crap my bad. I gotya

  • teach

    Hey! Kids need a break! Let them enjoy the pool! Practice with friends! Also teachers haven't had 3 months off in 30 years!! We get about 8 weeks not 10 but some don't realize that in order to make any money teachers must continue taking classes or earn a masters or doctorate degree to make any money and this is done during the summer. Apparently these coaches aren't being greedy because the majority doesn't want to extend practices.
    Some teachers volunteer at various summer camps! The public doesn't understand that 3/4 of educators went into this profession being told that you won't make much money teaching in WV but you will have benefits and summers off! Most decided that teaching would be great because we love children and we wanted children of our own to have the same schedule.
    Having the summers off to spend visiting this wonderful state of ours was an added bonus: camping, fishing, boating, etc. raising a garden to help feed family through the winter, working on farms, etc. Now half way through our careers they want to change our WHOLE LIVES- our goals that we set - NO WAY!
    How would you feel if u worked for a company and they said u will work the night shift after 30 yrs of service!
    I work hard everyday and I am committed to educating our youth and I think we can work together to improve our school systems without going to all year round school.
    Those that like to tell us what to do should be encouraged to get their education degree and come and join us in education, because this state and country is going to be faced with a shortage of teachers! But don't sing about "Teach for America" where people that have a bachelors degree can come into education and teach without having the proper credentials, that is like saying give a teacher a position as a doctor because he/she studied biology and they want to perform heart surgery. But they can't do it at CAMC because they won't even take retired teacher's Humana Insurance!!
    When this country decides to truly put our kids first, by federally funding maintenance to maintain school buildings without consolidation. Making sure all resources are readily available to our students-books, technology, vo-techs that can prepare students for various jobs - sports-scholarships-grants for college.
    The bottom line is politics are hiding behind the fact that many students are graduating from colleges or Univ. but they can't find jobs in this economy and most are so far in debt they can't even afford to buy their first home.
    We do need to work together in finding some solutions to these problems without battling against parties and Congress causing government shut-downs! We are the USA! What has happened to our American pride???? I love this country and yet I'm disappointed. We must try harder!!

  • mook

    should only be for phyiscal conditioning and for a full physical including EKG and other tests so kids don't have a heart attack will playing

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Not keep on. Need to give it a rest for awhile.

  • Dan

    Not surprising that the torpedo to this good idea was centered around coaches (teachers) concern for their wallets. Typical. All one has to do is to look at the facts that WV has very, very few college level football players at the end of every high school season to realize that the players have to contend with sub par coaching to begin with as well as less time than most other states afford their high school football players do to become bigger, faster and stronger. Sad.

  • Woodchuck

    You got it right the first time. Why revisit it?

  • threesportcoach

    I coach three sports at a small school and I believe that this may hurt small schools who have kids that play two or three sports.

    The three week out of season coaching period is great! It allows us coaches the opportunity to get an early look at some kids that can fill in at a position of need. It allows us to identify our weaknesses to work on before the start of the season.

  • mntnman

    Currently, kids spend all summer in AAU and other sports organizations. You see it everywhere. They seek out practice and play in sports year round on a voluntary basis. It is ridiculous to suggest that giving principals the authority to allow school to do it in the summer will overwhelm kids -- last time I checked they were already doing what is begin proposed -- voluntarily, outside the school system. Traveling to NC, or elsewhere to play sports. Spending $$$ to do so. Doign it in schools might be a respite for many. Opponents either don't know that or are ignoring it.

    • Wirerowe

      Mntnman I would like to voice opposition to the WVSSAC proposed policy change to extend permitted practice days. Kids need time to themselves. Football coaches already have " voluntary" weight lifting in off season. For many coaches that means mandatory if a kid wants to play. This policy could eventually lead to year around practice or training. That is insane. West Virginia is a small rural state and generates few Division One athletes every year. This change in summer practice will not increase that number. Some say that we are losing out to other states if we don't adopt this policy. That makes no sense. If this new policy will not increase division one prospects in the state , how are we losing out?

      This policy also increases risk of burn out and injuries from over use. We already place to much emphasis on sports in this country. This will only exacerbate that. This would increase the built in advantage that urban schools already have as their student populations are concentrated and transportation to and from practice during the school year and summer is less of an issue.

      The Harrison Count board in a hot bed of high school sports has come out in opposition. The proposed policy change is against the best interest of kids, parents and high school athletics in the state. I urge your opposition to the SSAC's proposed change.

      I have played high school sports, coached and refereed high school soccer. My dad was a career coach I am a devoted fan and follower of high school sports. Last year I saw state championships in football,, soccer and track including boys and girls for basketball, track and soccer. I would not pay a dime to see most college or pro sports. I consider every high school game I go see a bargain and a joy.

      Please reconsider mntnman this is not in the interest of most high school athletes and their families. Why force these people into a system that at most only benefits a handful of athletes and the egoes of a few coaches,

    • Dan

      very concise and accurate comment.

  • sportsforlife

    Bet it's safe to say the only coaches who were concerned about pay are the Professional teachers who also coach to pick up extra $$$$$ and don't want to put in the extra time or miss out on their 3 month vacation. Real coaches weren't worried about getting paid to do what they LOVE !!! And the kids who LOVE to compete now don't get the OPPORTUNITY to improve. This state is so far from doing what's best for the student/athletes its embarrassing. What a joke

    • jfk

      Lets not generalize here! I personally know many teachers that also coach, love what they do, love their kids and never asked for a time for the three week period we have now. I am also a coach, I coached two sports but I am not a teacher. I would say we could use another week or two for the multi-sport kids. But I would be against 6 or 7 weeks the kids would be burnt out and no time for "family" vacations. I would say give us four weeks two in June and two in July.
      PS The teachers get 10 weeks off, not three months :)

      • The bookman

        And next year are accountable up to 48 weeks of possible contractual obligation. That leaves a certain 4 week window to plan a vacation. Generalizations are always a bad idea, and yes, that is a contradictory statement.

    • Dan