Last week the Korey Stringer Institute released rankings of state high school associations in the area of managing risk to high school student-athletes. We wanted to share some brief thoughts from CAS-CIAC Executive Director Karissa Niehoff with our member principals, athletics directors and coaches.
“While we appreciate KSI’s investment in the health and safety of student-athletes, we are disappointed in the recently released document that ranks state high school associations based on a general review of association policies alone. The KSI survey did not account for Connecticut statutory requirements (such as coaching certification and requirements for education in concussion and cardiac arrest) or for policies employed by schools and districts that address the health and safety categories identified in the survey instrument. Therefore, the survey is an incomplete measure of the efforts employed by states to assist their member schools with heat, heart, and head health and safety issues. Connecticut’s ranking of 38/51 is directly related to this concern.
“There are multiple examples of ways in which policy and procedures in Connecticut were marked down in the scoring that were not correct representations of policies and practices throughout the state. Our association believes that the survey instrument was not an accurate measure of the comprehensive efforts by states, schools, and state associations to educate stakeholders and implement policies to protect the health and safety of our student-athletes. The questions were in a ‘yes or no’ format, addressed specific programs and forms, and did not consider state and district policy.
“Our concerns with the rankings and methodology does not mean our association believes our work in the area of student-athlete safety is done, or that improvements cannot be made to our policies. While we take issue with the rankings and processes, we appreciate the dialogue that can result in positive changes moving forward, and that is the approach and response CAS-CIAC is adopting. As always we welcome the feedback from our membership on this topic and I know we will all continue to make the health and safety of our student-athletes the highest priority in all our decisions and actions.”