The traditional ‘soap’ or ‘Gatorade’ preseason football scrimmage is being scrubbed by the high schools in the state of Kansas this football season. It is being replaced with a format known as a jamboree.
A preseason jamboree is an opportunity for Kansas State High School Activities Association member high school to participate in a controlled scrimmage with specific guidelines.
A jamboree consists of three or four member school teams that will gather at a mutually agreed upon location to conduct the controlled scrimmage. Only KSHSAA member high schools are allowed to participate in the preseason jamboree, and each school is limited to one jamboree date.
The jamboree can only be scheduled after the member school has concluded 10 days of practice prior to the date. An individual player must have completed nine days of practice before participating in the jamboree.
The jamboree scrimmage is optional to KSHSAA member schools it is not required. The five football teams in Dickinson County will participate in jamborees on Friday, August 30.
Abilene High School will travel to Salina and will practice against Hays High School, Salina South and Wichita North. Chapman High School is headed to Concordia to face the Panthers, Beloit and Ellsworth. Solomon will compete in 8-man at Lincoln with Logan Palco and Beloit-St. Johns. Rural Vista Heat is going to Burlingame and they will also see Hartford. Herington is scheduled to go to Melvern.
The jamboree will enable a school to essentially practice against another team’s starters versus lining up against the school’s sub-varsity. In addition, the sub-varsity teams are allowed to participate in the jamboree as well as the varsity. An individual player is limited to the total number of snaps on the field.
“The format isn’t completely finalized,” Abilene head coach Steve Simpson said. “Really, if we could get 20 varsity plays and 20 sub-varsity plays, I’d be happy with that. There will be quick whistles after the initial contact, so the scrimmage will be controlled. Our sub-varsity this year is going to be mostly freshman, sophomore and we don’t need them necessarily going against a true sub-varsity from the bigger schools. So I hope we will be able to work them against the others freshmen and sophomores.”
Each school team is limited to a total of 36 offensive snaps in the jamboree. An example would be, if the jamboree consists of four teams, then each team could run 12 offensive plays against each of the other three teams.
“The thing that excites me most about the jamboree is the competition factor,” Simpson said. “Iron against iron makes you sharper. We wouldn’t get that going against our two’s and three’s.”
Location of the offensive snaps will be determined by a meeting of the head coaches prior to the beginning of the jamboree. For instances, it may be agreed to run some snaps at the goal line or to begin at the 45-yard line for example.
No kicking, punting or special teams play is permitted during the scrimmage.
“We try to work special teams into at least two practices a week anyway,” Simpson said. “We’ll just have to communicate more during practices about who is on what special team whether it is a kickoff, punt or a return team.”
All NFHS football playing rules will apply with the exception that the coaches may be on the field to provide instruction. There is also a required five-minute break in between the changing of opponents during the jamboree.