High School Athletics Program

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High School Athletics Program by Mind Map: High School Athletics Program

1. Risk 1: Hiring of a coach without proper coaching certification

1.1. Risk Justification/Reasoning? This poses as a potential risk because coaches should hold the responsibility for care and prevention of injury, emergency procedures, and knowledge of adolescent psychology. If these minimum qualifications are ignored in hiring an individual as a coach, this could result in minimal protection of student-athletes, potential for injury with improper instruction and lack of administrative skill.

1.1.1. Severity? The severity of injuries could range from everything to lack of or poor equipment resulting in severe injury to improper instruction on form causing injury from the wrong and repetitive form. Derived from Chapter 21 on Risk Management, these injuries would classify on a scale from minor to major severity (Kaiser, p. 589).

1.1.2. Frequency? The injuries from this would most likely not be frequent occurrences. When looking at improper form instruction, however, it could create long term physical injury for the amount of times executing the position or move. On an Injury Frequency Scale, these injuries would be on medium frequency (Kaiser, p. 589). Treatment? Ensure that the athletic department has appropriate job descriptions and hiring processes. This would include proof of certification. It would also be important to provide training opportunities for coaches for continuing education, specifically on risk management and liability. Finally, it would be wise to also implement coach evaluations that includes close supervision of coaches by the athletic director.

1.1.3. Parties at risk? The parties at risk would be the coach, the athletic department, the school and potentially the school district.

1.2. Is there negligence? Yes, because each of the four qualifications are met.

1.2.1. What duty do we have as an organization? There is the duty to select, train and supervise coaches and the duty to instruct properly as an athletic administration (Doleshcal, 2006, p. 327 ).

1.2.2. Is there a standard of care? The process for hiring a new coach should follow the National Federation of State High School Associations and specific state regulations.

1.2.3. Causation? It could be argued that because the athletic department hired an unqualified coach that the coach, even without intent to injure student-athletes caused the injuries because of lack of knowledge.

1.2.4. Potential Injury? Potential injuries could include various external injuries from improper form, insufficient emergency care, and potentially inadequate verbal communication that would lead to mental instability from the coach's lack of working with adolescents.

2. Risk 2: Error in return-to-play medical decision after assessment of injury

2.1. Risk Justification/Reasoning? This is a more common risk that commonly occurs in high school athletics, particularly concerning student-athletes who have experienced concussion like symptoms. If an inaccurate or quick medical decision is made, then a player may still be eligible to continue play which could lead to further injury. It is imperative to take this seriously because athletes with prior injury are at almost four times greater risk of re-injury (Fuller, 2007).

2.1.1. Severity? This potential risk could result in high severity in terms of injury. Specifically regarding concussions, if a player were to re-enter the game after having experienced head trauma, this could lead to permanent cognitive disability and even death if internal bleeding were to happen. Taking all these possibilities into consideration, the severity of these injuries would classify as major or severe (Kaiser, p. 589).

2.1.2. Frequency? This is a relatively low frequency risk, but has been highlighted within sport society recently. If medical practitioners and athletic trainers are following protocol and true intuition from their education, then they could make the best decision most of the time. In today's athletics, this type of risk could be ranked as medium on the level of frequency (Kaiser, p. 589). Treatment? First, the athletic administration needs to ensure they are hiring competent medical professionals and athletic trainers. The athletic program should also include a standard return-to-play decision making process that analyzes health status, risk with participation, and decision modifiers.

2.1.3. Parties at risk? The parties are risk could include the athletic trainers, coaches, and athletic department.

2.2. Is there negligence? Yes, all four areas are met for negligence.

2.2.1. What duty do we have as an organization? As a high school athletic program, we have the duty to assess an athlete's physical readiness to ensure that players are properly screened in regards to their physical health (Doleschal, 2006, p 304).

2.2.2. Is there a standard of care? All fifty states and the District of Columbia have sport concussion laws in place that contain three common tenants: 1) an athlete suspected of having a concussion must be removed from play, 2) the athlete cannot return to play on the same day, and 3) the athlete can return with written clearance from a professional healthcare professional (Green, 2015). Another reference for specifically athletic trainers if is the National Association for Athletic Trainers.

2.2.3. Causation? Although the initial cause of injury could be from something outside of the school's control, if the medical decision released a player to return-to-play the injury could be increased and be directly caused by the allowance of returning to the game or practice.

2.2.4. Potential Injury? Injuries that could happen from this medical decision can include severe concussions, internal bleeding, overuse injuries, and the breakage of bones.

3. Risk 3: Inappropriate relationships between athletic personnel and student-athletes

3.1. Risk Justification/ Reasoning? Hostile environments and sexual harassment unfortunately still plague athletic programs. In recent years, it has been known that in sexual harassment lawsuits, courts have found the school/athletic program liable. This is a critical risk that needs to be assessed with care to ultimately protect the student-athletes and the school.

3.1.1. Severity? This risk holds high severity for physical, mental, and emotional injury. Inappropriate touch leaves physical impressions, mental instability and emotional brokenness. When looking at such a broad risk within an athletics program, the level of severity could potentially range the full scale from low, minor, major, severe and fatal (Kaiser, p. 589). Fatal severity needs to be part of the discussion because of linked suicide from harassment and abuse.

3.1.2. Frequency? At one school, this is an infrequent risk, however, it had become more frequent across the United States. There is also the possibility that same student-athlete could be harassed or abused multiple times or multiple students could be affected by the same perpetrator before any action is taken to combat the problem. On the Injury Frequency Scale, this would range from medium to high because of the potential circumstances described above (Kaiser, p. 589). Treatment? The first step that needs to be taken if there is ever any alleged sexual harassment is to report it to the state. athletic administrators need to have in-depth knowledge of the program, staff and student-athletes. the development and implementation of anti-sexual harassment polices are also crucial to communicate to administrators, parents, and students.

3.1.3. Parties at risk? The specific athletics personnel, athletic program, coach, school, and school district.

3.2. Is there negligence? There exists negligences because each four areas are met.

3.2.1. What duty do we have as an organization? As a high school athletic program there exists the duty to supervise the student-athletes in the program and the duty to select, train, and supervise coaches (Doleschal, 2006, p. 300, 327).

3.2.2. Standard of care? School officials have to report any alleged sexual harassment of a minor and follow their state child abuse reporting laws for law enforcement or child protective services.

3.2.3. Causation? It could be argued that the lack of supervision of student-athletes and athletic personnel led to an inappropriate relationship. It could also be said that the athletic department hired an unqualified individual and could be held liable.

3.2.4. Potential injury? Inappropriate relationships, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse could lead to life threatening injuries of the body, mind and emotions. The physicality of an act could leave bruises or other external wounds. The acts of an individual on a minor can also result in depression and anxiety that could result in mental and emotional instability or thoughts of death. Any form of sexual abuse with leave permanent damage through emotional triggers and memory.