The Miami Dolphins veterans report to training camp today, joining the rookies who reported last week. Today will feature physicals, while the first practice of the year will be held tomorrow. As we do every year, we give you the rules for training camp, as well as some tips for going to watch the team during any of the publicly opened practices.
Football is back, even if we are not quite yet to preseason games. Here is everything you need to know about training camp:
Reporting (Article 23, Section 5)
The CBA allows for two different report dates, with the Dolphins taking advantage of that this year. Rookies and first-year players (defined as any player who has not yet accrued a full season under the league’s rules) can report up to seven days prior to the veterans. Teams can set the veterans’ reporting date to no earlier than 15 days prior to the team’s first preseason game, or July 15, whichever date is later.
Conduct of Practices (Article 23, Section 6)
The first day of training camp will include physicals, meetings, and classroom work, with no on-field practices permitted, other than running or conditioning work. The second and third days of camp may include on-field practices, but cannot include pads. The three day limitation before pads can be worn will also be in effect for any player who reports to camp late.
After the three days, when pads are allowed, teams may also hold two-a-day practices, with limitations similar to the minicamp two-a-day rules. Players will be allowed to be on the field for no more than four hours a day, only one practice may be padded (not exceeding three hours in pads total), there must be at least a three hour break between practices, and the second practice mau only be a “walk-through” type of workout (defined as no helmets and conducted at half-speed following the snap).
Quarterbacks, kickers, punters, and long-snappers are allowed to wear pads outside of padded practices if they choose (helmets and shoulder pads). The league also allows for helmets on players who have suffered a head injury if it is considered a precautionary measure, as well as allowing helmets to be worn by quarterbacks and defensive players who receive communication from coaches through the helmet speakers.
Padded Practice (Article 24, Section 1(c))
The league’s padded practice rules for the regular and post season (covered in Article 24) also apply to Training Camp, and explains that a “padded practice” is any practice in which players are required to wear helmets, shoulder pads, and any other pads as required by the club.
Dolphins public practice schedule
This will be a favorite question over the next week. Here’s everything you need to know to go see the training camp practices Miami will open to the public:
Thursday, July 27 - 8:45am
Friday, July 28 - 8:20am
Saturday, July 29 - 8:20am
Sunday, July 30 - 8:20am
Monday, July 31 - 8:20am
Wednesday, August 2 - 8:45am
Thursday, August 3 - 8:20am
Friday, August 4 - 8:20am
Monday, August 7 - 8:45am
Tuesday, August 8 - 8:20am
Sunday, August 13 - 8:20am
Monday, August 14 - 8:20am
Tuesday, August 15 - 8:20am
All practices will be held at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University. Free parking is available at the Nova Southeastern University LRITC garage, located near the intersection of University Drive and S.W. 30th Street, between Griffin Road and I-595. Access to this garage is off University Drive and S.W. 30th Street.
The practice's start time is not the time you will see the team. That's the actual start to practice. Practices will begin in the practice bubble, where the team will stretch and conduct a walk through of the day's practice. This portion of practice is not open to the public. The team will hit the practice fields approximately 40 minutes after the posted start time of the practice. However, you still need to plan to be there at the posted start time to make sure you claim the bleacher spot you want.
Tickets to Dolphins training camp practices
The Dolphins provide free admittance to 2,000 fans each day, as scheduled above, but you do need to have a ticket. You can reserve tickets to each practice at Dolphins.com/TrainingCamp.
Practice times are subject to change, and the most updated information can be obtained by calling the Dolphins practice hotline at (954) 452-7004 or by visiting Dolphins.com/TrainingCamp.
Bring it. There is no excuse for not bringing sunscreen. You are in South Florida, in July and August. In case you have not noticed this, South Florida in July and August is a little warm. Protect yourself. Getting the worst sunburn of your life, could ruin a good day of getting to watch training camp. On this note, don't wear black to the practices either (there's a reason the Dolphins wear white at home). The stands now have a canopy over them, but better to be safe than sorry.
While not potentially lifesaving, a pair of binoculars could be just as important to you when you are at the practices. The Dolphins have two fields, and, while the team tries to do most of the practices at the near field, it still means there will likely be some work at the far field. You're going to want binoculars to be able to see what's happening.
Not every player signs every day. Typically a position group comes over to the public area after practice each day. The exception is the first day, where the majority of the players will sign autographs. If you are not there on Thursday, however, don't expect to see every member of the team whichever day you head to Davie. The Dolphins started a kids autograph session last year, which will continue this year, with kids being brought down to a specific area to be able to get autographs - just make sure you sign up for that when you arrive so you can guarantee your kid’s spot in the area.
Other than the heat, the other thing a South Florida training camp guarantees is rain. If it is raining, the team will likely hold the entire practice in the practice bubble, and out of the view of the public. To keep up with the status of practice - and to make sure start times have not changed - you can call the Dolphins' practice hotline at (954) 452-7004 or the team's training camp website The team will also use the hashtag #FinsCamp on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Vine to keep fans informed of any changes.
Changes to Dolphins camp in 2016
CLEAR BAG POLICY - The Dolphins are moving to the clear bag policy for training that is implemented for games at Hard Rock Stadium. Essentially, anything you plan to bring into the facility must be in a clear bag, so it can easily be expected. Also, expect to be wanded going into the facility as well. Security has been ramped up this year, so maybe arrive a little earlier.