NFL Partner Korey Stringer Institute Advances High School Sports Safety

The Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) released its most recent report which provides an overview of state-level policies regarding sudden death and catastrophic injuries in high school sports. Since their sustained efforts to strengthen these policies across the country, 38 states have passed legislative changes or changes to the State High School Athletic Association to improve this baseline. These remarkable advances are reported in the latest KSI guidance document. published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine in August 2021.

It is no coincidence that three-quarters of states have adopted changes in just three years. This national movement towards stricter safety rules was prompted by the work of Team Up for Sports Safety (TUFSS), a KSI-led initiative to propel the adoption of high school sports policies that have been proven to work. reduce the incidence of catastrophic sports injuries. The rapid and widespread success of TUFSS has been fueled by support from the National Football League Foundation and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association as well as numerous private donors.

A state-by-state approach

As part of the TUFSS initiative, KSI holds meetings in states and invites sports leaders from local high schools, healthcare providers, healthcare professionals and policy makers to strike up a conversation aimed at fueling the adoption of health and safety policies that improve the well-being of the student-athlete high school. Through the implementation of policies and procedures recommended by the TUFSS, schools can be well prepared for catastrophic injury, thereby helping to reduce the risk of athlete death from sudden cardiac arrest, head trauma, body heatstroke. effort and sickle to the effort.

“We decided to take a state-based approach and make it a really focused and individualized approach for states,” said Rebecca Stearns, COO of KSI and Director of TUFSS.

The goal of each meeting is to come away with a policy document that policymakers can use to guide the implementation of new regulations – changes that can take the form of laws, executive actions, rule changes or changes. ‘other organizational reforms.

“In the past three years, the top five rated states were all states visited by TUFSS,” Stearns said. “We are proud of the fact that these are the states that have seen the greatest increase in scores over the past three years. In addition, none of the states in the bottom five have yet hosted a TUFSS meeting.”

Research, advocacy and education

The Korey Stringer Institute takes its name and inspiration from Korey Stringer, an offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings who died of exercise heatstroke in 2001. In an effort to prevent further fatalities from exertional heatstroke, Stringer’s widow Kelci was associated with exertional heatstroke. expert Dr Douglas Casa at the University of Connecticut to form KSI, which was launched in April 2010. KSI’s mission is to provide research, education, advocacy and consultation to maximize performance , optimize safety and prevent sudden death for the athlete, the fighter and the worker.

The NFL and the NFL Foundation have been strong supporters of KSI’s work since its founding, providing funding and support for various initiatives, including the Athletic Coaching Grants Program, which has provided funding to public high schools with football programs with limited or no access to a track and field coach.

Going forward, TUFSS will visit all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with the goal of ensuring that common sense guidelines to protect the health of high school athletes are in place in every U.S. jurisdiction. As standards continue to improve across the country, KSI hopes other states will follow the lead of governments that have already implemented changes.