The Louisiana High School Athletic Association was formed in 1920 as a way to “better regulate and develop the high school interscholastic athletic program,” according to the LHSAA website.
Today, the responsibilities expand further as parents have serious concerns about the health and safety of student-athletes.
The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research says, on average, three football players a year have died from heat stroke since 1995, most of which were high schoolers.
The head football coach at McKinley High School in East Baton Rouge Parish Richard Oliver, said he is on board with LHSAA rules.
“It’s very brutal this time of year, so we have to be careful of how much we push them,” Oliver told NBC Local 33.
Heat stroke is most common in the southeast, according to the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut.
“They can’t practice in pads – all summer long. We also don’t have two-a-days and then we have other rules for coaches to follow,” said Director of Communications and Media Relations for LHSAA Kate Adams.
Adam said if any program is found not to be in compliance, there are a variety of sanctions that can occur depending on the severity of the violation.
Meanwhile, Oliver said they are going beyond LHSAA rules to protect their student-athletes. Oliver cited the partnership that EBRP schools have with local training faclity, Peak Performance. He also said a community doctor performs a free heart test on incoming freshmen to help determine any pre-existing conditions.
Adams said parents should also be educated on the rules set forth by LHSAA for high school athletic programs. If you would like to download a copy of the current section of the handbook, specific to football, visit here.