NSAA clarifies status of PPEs for student athletes

The NSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee met via Zoom on April 2, 2020. According to NSAA Assistant Director Ron Higdon, one of the primary discussion points was the annual requirement for all athletes to have a PPE on file prior to the start of their respective regular season practice.
Higdon said health care providers in the state are experiencing changing demands to deal with COVID-19. These changes are causing them to postpone most, if not all, non-essential wellness and maintenance visits. Most of them are planning these changes to last until July.
It has become clear that the health care system in Nebraska, he said, will not have the capacity to meet the requirements in place by the NSAA for all athletes to have these PPEs administered in the timeline that starts no earlier than May 1.
According to EPS Athletic Director Michael Becker, if anyone that was in high school this year had a sports physical done it will be able to be used again next year so they do not have to get another physical this year. It does still require all incoming ninth graders to still receive a sports physical. As for junior high, Becker said all incoming seventh graders are required to have a physical by Nebraska Education law so they will need to have one still but anyone that was a 7th grader last year and is going into 8th grade that received a physical last year will be exempt as well.
Higdon said the NSAA SMAC unanimously recommended to the NSAA board that PPEs for the 2019-2020 school year be acceptable for the 2020-2021 seasons.
“This recommendation would be for a one-year exemption only and would not include incoming freshmen. They continue to recommend that students visit their primary care providers for the PPE. The NSAA board, legal counsel and insurance providers have determined that this recommendation was acceptable and will put the matter on the next NSAA board meeting agenda as an action item,” he said.
Therefore, any member school that has a current PPE for their student athletes on file, those will now be valid for the 2020-2021 school year. All incoming freshmen would still be required to provide the school with the PPE paperwork that is dated no earlier than May 1, 2020.