The NCAA this year has complete changed the whole structure the D-1 practice schedule and for once I think they actually made something better. Once games start the practice requirements will pretty much be as they have had in the past but the big changes have been made to how coaches and teams ramp up to the season. The result will be practices that will start earlier than they traditionally have been, but will give the athletes more days off of practices in-between the start of practice and the first game. Here is how it will work.
Between now and roughly the start of October things will be much like they were last year when the NCAA instituted the following September practice rules. Coaches can work with athletes during September but are limited to a maximum of two hours of court time per athlete in groups of players no larger than four athletes at any time. The remaining 6 hours would be meetings and training work. Starting September 15th the same rules will apply but the maximum 4 players at any given time is dropped.
The big change in practices schedule this year is that instead of having a specific date when practices start (usually October 15th) the new practice rules state that a team may have 30 practices in the 40 days prior to their first game of the season. So for example the Bobcat Men’s first game this year is November 12 (not counting exhibition games) this means they could hold their first practice on October 2 almost two weeks before when they did last year. Now I think it will require a few more days off of practice between the start of practice and the first game but I think athletes and coaches will welcome this change. This stagger the start of practices for all programs, so we will not have the big Mid-night madness events like there have been in the past.
I really think these changes. It allows the coach to start earlier teaching and preparing athletes, but also insures that the athletes get the time off they need to work school. Instead of trying to jamb a lot of practice into a short period of time it gives the athlete more time to process it. I think the NCAA got it right this time.