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Catastrophic injury reporting requirement starts Aug. 1

New mandate supports system for tracking, addressing severe injuries

Beginning on Aug. 1, all NCAA member schools will be required to report any catastrophic injuries incurred by their student-athletes, a mandate that supports a new comprehensive and accurate structure for tracking those injuries.

Injuries or illness schools are required to report include those that result in fatalities, non-fatalities that result in permanent functional disability, or serious injuries that are recoverable and do not result in permanent disability.

The new tracking system is the first of its kind to be driven by membership self-reports. In the past, catastrophic injury trends were developed mainly from researchers outside the NCAA, who collected data by monitoring the media and doing in-depth investigations of student-athletes who were severely injured. Through the years, the data collected by those researchers helped the NCAA and its members develop interventions to avoid catastrophic injuries.

The mandated reporting protocol, approved by all three divisions at the 2014 Convention, is a step toward improving the NCAA’s understanding of catastrophic injuries and illnesses by requiring all institutions in all divisions to report catastrophic injuries to student-athletes. To assist member institutions’ ability to comply with the mandate, the NCAA’s Sport Science Institute is partnering with the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research and the Consortium for Catastrophic Injury Monitoring in Sport to collect and analyze the data. The consortium is a partnership between NCCSIR and several different institutions and programs.  It is divided into three research divisions corresponding to the major types of catastrophic injuries:

  • The University of North Carolina, which will oversee traumatic injuries including head, neck and spine injuries;
  • The University of Connecticut, which will oversee exertional injuries including heat-related injuries and sickle cell trait;
  • The University of Washington, which will oversee cardiac injuries.

In addition, the NCCSIR and its consortium will work with the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention to develop an online reporting system to make reporting injuries easier for institutions.

The Sport Science Institute and its partners are working to distribute materials to NCAA members in the coming weeks to provide additional details on the program and its compliance requirements, including links to the online injury reporting website and instructions for complying with the new regulations. NCAA members who have questions about the catastrophic injury reporting system and its requirements can contact nccsir@unc.edu.