When it comes to addressing the safety of athletes, at any level, guarding against concussions and complications from prolonged exposure to heat and humidity are always at the forefront of concerns.
Recently the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission (WVSSAC) has recently announced it will implement new regulations dealing with these problems and the safety of the state's athletes.
The press release is as follows:
The WVSSAC Board of Directors at their June 11-12, 2012 meeting adopted two items recommended by the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. First, the Board of Directors will require all head coaches to view the National Federation of State High School Association video on Concussions. The thirty (30) minute video "Concussion in Sports What You Need to Know", has been well received nationwide with more than 100,000 coaches participating.
The video is part of the National Federation's commitment to informing and educating coaches in all sports. "Concussion in Sports What You Need to Know" describes the signs and symptoms of concussions and returning to play or practice following the identification of a possible concussion.
Secondly, the Board of Directors adopted the recommendation of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee concerning Heat Acclimatization Guidelines. These guidelines will assist coaches and administrators in recognizing the dangers of heat and humidity and the precautions necessary when the heat index reaches excessive levels.
Gary Ray, Executive Director, said, "For the past two years we have been at the forefront encouraging our coaches to voluntarily watch the video and sharing our concerns about practicing or playing under extreme weather related conditions. We must continue to do everything possible to ensure the health and welfare of our student athletes. This takes our commitment to the next level. We are extremely pleased that our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, consisting of doctors and certified athletic trainers, felt strongly enough to ask the Board of Directors to protect the youngsters under our care".
Head coaches in all sports will be required to take the Concussion Course before the first scrimmage. Ray continued, "These 30 minutes may be the most important education that our coaches receive during the course of the season". Assistant coaches are encouraged to view the course as well. The course can be found at www.nfhslearn.com and is free to everyone. The National Federation hopes to complete a video concerning Heat Acclimatization by early August.