Sport Science Institute

Preventing Catastrophic Injury and Death in Collegiate Athletes

Enhancing a culture of safety in college sports is foundational to reducing the occurrence of catastrophic injury and death. The goal of the NCAA sport science institute (SSI) is protecting the life and the long-term well-being of all athletes. To support that effort, the SSI developed the following document entitled Interassociation Recommendations: Preventing Catastrophic Injury and Death in Collegiate Athletes. In addition to the main document, links to two additional companion documents are available: (1) a frequently asked questions document, and (2) a checklist. Together, they provide comprehensive recommendations on preventing catastrophic injury and death in collegiate athletes, which were unanimously endorsed by the NCAA Board of Governors as Association-wide policy under the Uniform Standard of Care Procedures.

The recommendations in the main document have been endorsed by 13 external scientific and medical organizations and illuminate areas of consensus about the best ways to prevent catastrophic injury and death in collegiate athletes. They provide a flexible roadmap for NCAA member institutions to address catastrophic injury prevention in six key areas: sportsmanship; protective equipment; acclimatization and conditioning; emergency action plans; strength and conditioning personnel; and education and training.

The FAQ document was developed to assist with questions about the new policy. This document addresses issues about the process by which the policy was developed, reviewed and endorsed including the use of foundational statements as a basis. In addition, it addresses questions that have emerged from the membership regarding the interpretation and implementation of the recommendations in the main document. The checklist will help athletics health care administrators to ensure that policies are in place and followed, and are consistent with the Interassociation Recommendations: Preventing Catastrophic Injury and Death in Collegiate Athletes document. 

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