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North Carolina requiring athletic trainers at schools

North Carolina’s Board of Education took a big step this week toward improving safety for high school student-athletes.

North Carolina's Board of Education is mandating that schools have athletic trainers at games and practices.
North Carolina’s Board of Education is mandating that schools have athletic trainers at games and practices.

The board approved a statewide policy that requires middle and high schools to have certified athletic trainers at all football practices and games. The rule has created concern at many high schools, where athletic directors question who’s going to pay for the new mandate.

From The Associated Press:

Treatment workers must be certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation and trained in concussion management and injury prevention. The first aid specialist can’t be one of the team coaches.

The new policy also directs local school districts to aim at having emergency workers available at the practices and games of all sports at both the high school and middle school levels, but puts no timeline on the goal.

The Fayetteville Observer published a reaction piece that quotes many athletic directors and coaches who say they were caught off guard by the measure. They largely agree that trained coaches should be able to attend to injured athletes, while others argue that could result in coaches clearing their own players for action in cases where they may have suffered serious injuries like concussions.

North Carolina has more than 220,000 boys and girls that play sports in secondary schools, but the state athletic association keeps no records of injuries.


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