Some high school teams are already near the halfway point of their seaons in South Dakota. Beginning this fall sports season, schools and the South Dakota High School Activities Association are working together to save steps when an illness or injury happens during a game.
State high school athletic leaders have spent the past few years collecting thoughts from a state athletic trainers’ panel. The High School Activities Association has taken those concerns and turned them into a required meeting before each game or match. John Krogstrand with the Activities Association explained that the Pre-Contest Injury Time Out will put everyone on the same page when a participant is injured.
“So it brings together, discussions on not just the major things, but the minor things as well—and that we’re able to handle any situation that requires medical attention; such as, again, identifying game administrators for each team, of who is really there on site to help," said Krogstrand. "And then, those medical personnel to work the event. Do we have an AED on site; a cardiac arrest being one of the leading killers of athletes—young athletes, especially.”
Krogstrand said the procedure is an important one before every contest—but it’s meant to save seconds when medical help is a good distance away.
“Especially, at some of our sites, whether that’s practices or contests or whatever that are remote or rural across our state, where the nearest hospital or clinic might be an hour down the road; what are we able to do to address that situation on site, take care of, again, that kid, that athlete, that participant, to make sure they can survive such a catastrophic event," explained Krogstrand.
Packets sent to officials in each state-sanctioned sport have information on the new pre-contest procedure. The State Association website also has a presentation about what is expected during the meetings.