Health and Safety

Children’s Act for Clean Indoor Air

For health and safety reasons, smoking is not permitted at any PAA sponsored activity. In response to the “Children’s Act for Clean Indoor Air” enacted as Public Chapter 455 by the Tennessee General Assembly, the act prohibits smoking at all public and private kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools and school grounds. The term is defined in the act and includes any building, structure, and surrounding grounds. Adults may be permitted to smoke outdoors as long as they are more than fifty feet from any entrance to the building or playing field.

 

See the PAA Handbook for details on the policy.

Heat Acclimatization and Heat Illness Prevention

Exertional Heatstroke (EHS) is the leading cause of preventable death in student athletics. Students participating in high-intensity, long-duration or repeated same-day sports practices and training activities during the summer months or other hot-weather days are at greatest risk. EHS also results in thousands of emergency room visits and hospitalizations throughout the nation each year. Further and more detailed information can be found within the NFHSLearn.com online course, the NFHS Sports Medicine Handbook, the NFHS SMAC “Position Statement and Recommendations for Maintaining Hydration to Optimize Performance and Minimize the Risk for Exertional Heat Illness” and other NFHS related programs. Following the recommended guidelines in this policy and “Heat Illness Prevention” can reduce the risk and incidence of EHS and the resulting deaths and injuries in student athletics.  The PAA has adopted the TSSAA guidelines for dealing with excessive heat.

See the PAA Handbook for details on the policy.

Player Concussion and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Information concerning the nature, risk and symptoms of concussion and head injury and sudden cardiac arrest, should be reviewed by all school administrators, coaches, youth athletes and their parent or guardian. The Tennessee Department of Health has concussion and sudden cardiac arrest information and forms available at www.tn.gov/health/article/tbi-concussion and www.tn.gov/health/topic/sudden- cardiac-arrest-prevention-act.

The following information includes a copy of “Signs/Symptoms of Concussion”. The required Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concussion checklist is available at www.cdc.gov/concussion/pdf/TBI_schools_checklist_508-a.pdf. Every individual involved in athletics at member schools or youth organizations must review information on concussions and sudden cardiac arrest annually and sign a form that states this process has been completed.

The NFHS has developed free courses online regarding concussions and sudden cardiac arrest in sports. The courses may be accessed at www.nfhslearn.com. Athletic directors and coaches, whether employed or volunteer, must complete this course annually.

Prior to the annual initiation of practice or competition the following persons must review and sign a concussion and head injury information sheet and the sudden cardiac awareness information sheet: all coaches, athletic director, and any appointed licensed health care professional of each member school.

Prior to the annual initiation of practice or competition, all student athletes and the athlete’s parent/guardian should review a concussion and head injury information sheet. A form confirming this review shall be signed and returned by the student athlete, if the athlete is 18 years of age or older; or, by the athlete’s parent/ guardian, for athletes younger than 18 years of age. In compliance with TN State Law, member schools must maintain this information on each student athlete for a period of no less than 3 years.

Any player who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems, shall be immediately removed from the game and shall not return to play until they have been evaluated by a licensed medical professional and received written clearance to return to sporting activities.

Any player who suffers a sudden cardiac arrest shall be immediately removed from the game and shall not return to play until they have been evaluated by a licensed medical professional and received written clearance to return to sporting activities.

See the PAA Handbook for details on the policy.

Lightening Policy for Outdoor Events

To reduce the risk of lightning-related casualties, it is important to ensure that athletes, coaches and event administrators are appropriately educated regarding best practices for lightning safety.  Given the variation in distance that lightning may travel and the deadly force with which it strikes, the importance of keeping athletes and spectators safe through education and appropriate event planning cannot be understated. Postponing contests or practices should be strongly considered when a thunderstorm is predicted. In the event of an unexpected or fast-moving thunderstorm, appropriate steps should be taken to remove participants from the threat of lightning.  The PAA has created guidelines for the suspension and resumption of play adopted from the NFHS.

See the PAA Handbook for details on the policy.

Tennessee State Legal Requirements

Tennessee state law requires member institution creating teams for participation in any organized sporting event obtain the following records annually from Players, Parents, Coaches and Administrators, and maintain the files for a minimum of 3 years.

  • Signed Concussion Awareness Form
  • Signed Sudden Cardiac Arrest Form
  • Coaches must register and complete annually the NFHS concussion and cardiac arrest training.
  • Annual Sports Physicals required before an athlete is allowed participation in practices or competition.

See the PAA Handbook for details on the policy.

PAA MEMBER ORGANIZATION DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Intent to Participate (required annually for each sport in which a member organization intends to compete)
  • Hardship Request – as needed
  • Gym/Facility Availability form – per sports program
  • Team Roster/Eligibility List (Must be signed by the Principal or Pastor)

Any new coach must successfully complete the following one-time requirement:

  • Virtus training or similar for protecting God’s children from sexual abuse.
  • Criminal background check

See the PAA Handbook for details on the policy.