New Sports Safety Requirements

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky high school officials are
scrambling to meet a tight deadline to enact new sports safety
requirements stemming from the death of a football player who
collapsed at practice.
Kentucky High School Athletic Association Commissioner Brigid
DeVries told the state Board of Education Thursday that officials
are working under an "aggressive timeline." DeVries said
officials are working with the Kentucky Medical Association to
devise an online course and test for up to 12,000 coaches to take.
They're hoping to have the course administered by mid-June, when
practices for certain sports will resume, DeVries said.
"It's huge," DeVries said.
State lawmakers last month passed new safety training
requirements following the heat-related death of high school
football player Max Gilpin, who collapsed at a practice last
August. He died three days later.
Gilpin's coach, David Jason Stinson, has been charged with
reckless homicide in his death. Stinson has pleaded not guilty.
The new state law requires high school coaches to complete first
aid and sports safety training on athlete heat stroke and cold
emergencies. By law, every high school coaching staff must have at
least one member who completed the safety training to attend each
practice and game by next school year.
DeVries said athletics officials are looking to accommodate the
law immediately and be in compliance for the coming school year. A
larger board including representatives of schools, athletic
trainers and state education officials will then develop a sports
safety course to be used more long-term, DeVries said.
Given the tight timeline, DeVries said, officials believe the
best way to meet the new law's requirements is through an online
course that has a testing component.
"That's the only option we have right now," she said.
All high school head coaches are already required to have some
medical training and must attend a sports medicine symposium every
other year.
Julian Tackett, an assistant KHSAA commissioner, said under the
new law all coaches will know basic sports safety. Head coaches
will have some special training beyond that, Tackett said.
Dorothy Combs, a state school board member, said she thought
players should also be given some basic information about the
injuries they or their teammates could face.
"You really depend on the students' behavior and knowledge and
their parents' knowledge of what's going on," she said.

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