Title 40. Public Health and Safety

Chapter 5-a. Health Provisions: Children

Part VII. Youth Sports Injury

Subpart A. Comprehensive Sports Injury Management Program



40:1087.1   Comprehensive sports injury management program for student athletics


A. Each high school that sponsors or sanctions any athletic activity in this state, and which requires a participating student to regularly practice or train and compete, is subject to the terms of the injury management program provided for in Subsections B through F of this Section. 


B. The injury management program shall: 


(1)(a) Establish a comprehensive emergency action plan for each sport located on the school’s campus. 


(b) The emergency action plan shall be reviewed annually prior to each sport season with all appropriate personnel who are designated by the athletic director’s office. 


(c) The comprehensive emergency action plan shall follow the best practices of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. 


(2) Require that any coach, game official, on-field licensed healthcare provider, or licensed athletic trainer remove a student from practice, training, or competition if any of the following circumstances occur: 


(a) The student reports any defined sign or symptom of a serious sports injury. 


(b) The coach or licensed athletic trainer determines that the student exhibits any defined sign or symptom of a serious sports injury. 


(c) The coach is notified that the student has reported or exhibited any defined sign or symptom of a serious sports injury by any of the following persons: 


(i) A licensed, registered, or certified medical practitioner operating within their respective scope of practice. 


(ii) A licensed athletic trainer. 


(iii) Any other licensed, registered, or certified individual whose scope of practice includes the recognition of symptoms associated with serious sports injuries. 


(iv) An official responsible for judging or supervising the athletic competition. 


(3) Ensure that any student who, in accordance with the provisions of this Subpart, is safely removed from practice, training, or competition: 


(a) Shall, as soon as practicable after reporting or exhibiting any sign or symptom of a serious sports injury, be examined by a health professional duly licensed in this state to provide healthcare services or medical treatment. 


(b) May be allowed to return to practice, training, or competition only after the student provides to the coach and a licensed athletic trainer written authorization from a health professional duly licensed in this state to provide healthcare services or medical treatment. 


(4) Require that for the purpose of serving the students, school, community, and protecting public safety, each coach certified by the Coaches Education and Certification Program receive annual documented training regarding the nature and risks of serious sports injuries in accordance with the National High School Coaches Association and the Louisiana High School Coaches Association. 


(5) Subject to availability of financial resources and supply of the necessary workforce, rely to the greatest possible extent on athletic trainers licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to provide athletic health care at high school athletic competitions. 


(6) Require that each school participating in interscholastic athletics, follow best practices for any activity that does not occur in a climate-controlled facility. These practices shall follow the modified guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association regarding the heat acclimatization and wet bulb globe temperature policy. These policies shall occur on all school campuses where summer conditioning, pre-season practices or games, or fall or spring sports take place, or when a coach is present. 


(7) Include a protocol for licensed athletic trainers, if utilized by the school or school system, to be available for practices or games to assist in the management of emergency and nonemergency care for participants. 


C. The school shall ensure that before a student is allowed to participate in any school-sponsored or school-sanctioned athletic activity, the student and the parent or guardian of the student shall document that they have viewed information, provided in written or verifiable electronic form by the school or school district, regarding risks of serious sports injuries. 


D. This Section does not create any liability for, or create a cause of action against, a school, its officers, or its employees. 


E. To carry out the duties prescribed in this Subpart, a school may contract for and accept private contributions, gifts, and grants, or in-kind aid from the federal government, the state, or any other source.


F. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) shall promulgate, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, any rules necessary to implement the sports injury management program provided for in this Subpart. In developing such rules, BESE may engage and solicit input from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners and the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, and may incorporate recommendations of those groups in any final rules providing for a comprehensive sports injury management program. 


G. No school or school system shall be required to incur any financial cost related to the implementation of this Section, unless funds are appropriated by the legislature for such purpose. 


H. The provisions of this Subpart shall not apply to concussions, as the protocols specific to these injuries shall be governed by the Louisiana Youth Concussion Act. 


I. As used in this Subpart, the following terms have the meaning ascribed to them in this Section: 


(1) “Heat acclimatization” means a series of changes or adaptations that occur in response to heat stress in a controlled environment over the course of seven to fourteen days. These adaptations are beneficial to exercise in the heat and allow the body to cope with heat stress. 


(2) “Wet bulb globe temperature” means a measure of the heat stress in direct sunlight which takes into account temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle, and solar radiation. 


Redesignated from R.S. 40:1299.186 by H.C.R. No. 84 of the 2015 Regular Session. Added by Acts 2011, No. 352, § 1. Amended by Acts 2018, No. 206, § 4; Acts 2020, No. 259, § 1.