PHYSICAL EXAMINATION AND INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
Physical Evaluation, Medical Disqualification, and Insurance Requirements
The first step in safe athletic participation should be a thorough pre-participation evaluation (PPE) by a physician who knows the athlete well. Each school shall require a physician’s certificate stating that the individual is physically able to participate in their chosen activity or activities from each student participating in sports activities and/or spirit groups. The most appropriate form is the consensus Pre-participation Physical Evaluation form recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Sports Medicine, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, and the American Osteopathic Academy for Sports Medicine and care should be taken to address each part of the evaluation.
This annual physical is a very important part of comprehensive medical care for a young athlete. It gives the pediatrician or family physician an opportunity to address general medical history, probe potential issues related to physical activity (including cardiovascular problems), as well as address sensitive issues such as drug and alcohol use with their young patient. In the event that an athlete and their parents do not regularly attend a medical office, they have the option of obtaining a physical evaluation certificate from any physician. The evaluation may be performed and the certificate may be signed by an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner or a Certified Physician’s Assistant who is working in written collaborative practice with a physician, provided the name of the physician with whom there is collaborative practice also appears on the certificate.
The medical certificate is valid from February 1 through the next school year. For example, a physical issued on February 1, 2011, is valid through the 2011-12 school year. Before a student begins try-outs or practices for sports activities and/or spirit groups, they must have a physical evaluation certificate and insurance verification on file with their school district.
A physician examining athletes in junior and senior high schools must use good judgment in deciding whether or not to restrict a student from competition. There are three major considerations for restricting persons from participation in athletics:
1. Is there an injury, illness, or condition which prevents the individual from competing fairly with normal persons?
2. Is there an injury, illness, or condition which might be aggravated by athletic competition?
3. Does this injury, illness, or condition place that athlete or another athlete at harm?
These are relative and circumstances alter decisions. It is the examining physician’s responsibility to determine qualification and disqualification for participation.
The specific standards for both physical examination and insurance are contained in the MSHSAA Official Handbook, By-Law 3.8.
Click here to download the Pre-Participation Evaluation Form
Conditioning Standard By-Law 3.9.1
Each team must have 14 days of conditioning practice and each individual must have participated in 14 school conditioning practices on 14 different days prior to the date of the first interscholastic contest in all sports. This requirement shall be met if a student has been a member of another school sports team immediately preceding the sport season, has been actively practicing with the sport team, has had 14 days of physical conditioning and begins physical conditioning practice with the new sport team with no more than seven calendar days having passed between the two sports before beginning practice.