2011-12 NCAA | Sports Medicine Handbook

2011-12 NCAA | Sports Medicine Handbook

Participation in intercollegiate athletics involves unavoidable exposure to an inherent risk of injury. However, student-athletes rightfully assume that those who sponsor intercollegiate athletics have taken reasonable precautions to minimize the risks of injury from athletics participation. In an effort to do so, the NCAA collects injury data in intercollegiate sports.

When appropriate, the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports makes recommendations to modify safety guidelines, equipment standards, or a sport’s rules of play. It is important to recognize that rule books, safety guidelines and equipment standards, while helpful means of promoting safe athletics participation, and are themselves insufficient to accomplish this goal.

To effectively minimize the risks of injury from athletics participation, everyone involved in intercollegiate athletics must understand and respect the intent and objectives of applicable rules, guidelines and standards. The institution, through its athletics director, is responsible for establishing a safe environment for its student-ath-letes to participate in its intercollegiate athletics program.

Coaches should appropriately warn student-athletes about the sport’s inherent risks of injury and instruct them how to minimize such risks while participating in games, practices and training. The team physician and athletic health care team should assume responsibility for developing an appropriate injury prevention program and providing quality sports medicine care to injured student-athletes.

Student-athletes should fully understand and comply with the rules and standard of play that govern their sports and follow established procedures to minimize their risk of injury. In summary, all persons participating in, or associated with, an institution’s intercollegiate athletics program share responsibility for taking steps to reduce effectively the risk of injury during intercollegiate athletic competition.

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