Prep notes: WIAA to provide concussion insurance
Starting Aug. 1, every prep athlete at Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association-sanctioned schools will be covered by concussion insurance. The WIAA approved the policy at its late-April meeting, making Wisconsin the fourth state nationwide...
Starting Aug. 1, every prep athlete at Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association-sanctioned schools will be covered by concussion insurance.
The WIAA approved the policy at its late-April meeting, making Wisconsin the fourth state nationwide to provide coverage for its student-athletes.
Here's how it works: The HeadStrong Concussion Insurance Program, offered by Dissinger Reed, will cover "every student-athlete in grades 6-12 while participating in any practice or game sanctioned by the WIAA," according to a news release. It costs $1.50 per athlete and is intended to make up the difference after the participant family's primary insurance is billed. The maximum benefit is $25,000 per injury, and there are no deductibles.
"The WIAA is trying to make sure everyone has the financial resources to get medical assistance if they need it," Superior athletic director Ray Kosey said.
The concussion conversation in high school sports shows no signs of abating. About 300,000 high school athletes "suffer concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries, each year," according to research presented at the 2017 meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
It's important to note that 300,000 represents less than 4 percent of all students that participate in a high school sport - that number, as reported by the National Federation of State High School Associations, was 7,868,900 in 2015-16.
Said WIAA Board of Control president Mike Beighley: "We don't want a single student-athlete to not be evaluated or treated for a concussion because of the cost."
Wisconsin joins Michigan, Montana and Arizona as states that offer this type of concussion insurance.
In Minnesota, discussions about a similar policy have occurred, but the Minnesota State High School League has "yet to give it serious consideration," said MSHSL associate director Kevin Merkle.
Singlet days numbered in wrestling?
Wrestlers, rejoice: Thanks to the NFHS, singlets are no longer required.
Heeding the advice of its Wrestling Rules Committee, the NFHS last month approved alternate two-piece uniforms consisting of compression shorts, or shorts designed specifically for wrestling, and a form-fitted compression shirt. Beginning next season, high school wrestlers will have the option of wearing the new uniform or the traditional singlet.
The rule modification is aimed at "increasing boys and girls participation in the sport after receiving favorable results from experimentation and positive comments from schools, students, coaches and officials," according to the NFHS.
Another option for transfers
Despite speculation that transferring schools for athletic reasons was about to become easier, the MSHSL's Merkle says not so fast. Another option was, however, approved by the organization's board of directors for appealing the eligibility of a transfer student.
It involves the principals and athletic directors at both schools confirming that "the appeal is for a special and unique situation and not for athletic reasons," Merkle wrote in an email. The case then would be heard by the MSHSL's Eligibility Committee, which would issue the final ruling.
With this latest addition, there now are seven situations in which an appeal can be made.
Esko boys basketball coach Mike Devney's contract is expected to be discussed at the Esko School Board's May 23 meeting. The News Tribune reported last month that Devney's contract is unlikely to be renewed. ... Look for Hermantown to announce its new boys hockey coach either late next week or early the following week. Tuesday was the final day to apply. Bruce Plante retired last month after 28 seasons as Hawks coach. ... The Cloquet softball team's 3-2 win over Osseo on April 19 marked the 100th career victory for Lumberjacks coach Ron Tondryk. ... Saturday's 4-3 loss to Minnetonka for the Grand Rapids baseball team has been changed to a 7-0 forfeit victory. ... Speaking of baseball, Floodwood didn't have enough players to field a team this spring. ... Interesting note from the MSHSL's April 6 meeting synopsis: "Postponed a decision on a request by Cook County, Silver Bay and Two Harbors to have students from Cook County attend school at Silver Bay or Two Harbors during the hockey season. The arenas are located in Silver Bay and Two Harbors."