DES MOINES, Iowa – Summer break is meant to be just that, a break. High school student athletes and musicians often use the three months off from school to practice, play, and get better at their activity. Soon, there will be a dedicated week of rest coming up.
State high school officials are calling it “Family Week,” as a time for students to spend time away from activities and with their loved ones. Iowa High School Athletic Association Executive Director Tom Keating said the inspiration for it came from the young people who are participating.
“One of the things that we were hearing from students is they never get a break, they go from one season to another,” Keating said. “The more successful you are, the less likely you are to get a break.”
For the first time, a non-contact period will appear in Iowa’s Unified Activity Federation calendar. From Sunday, July 25 to Sunday, Aug. 1, there will be no high school athletic, music, or speech activities. Coaches and teachers are not allowed to contact students, and use of school facilities is prohibited.
State baseball is exempt from this year’s non-contact period due to scheduling conflicts. Future state tournaments will allow for the week off.
Keating hopes everyone – students, parents, teachers, coaches, and athletic directors – take advantage of the time.
“I think what we’ve taken away to some degree, is the value of having time to just decompress and having time off,” Keating said. “Your body can benefit from that obviously, but I think more importantly your mind where you just feel like, ‘Alright, I’m not scheduled today to do all of this.’”
Iowa’s Unified Activity Federation is comprised of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, the Iowa High School Music Association, and the Iowa High School Speech Association.