Ohio Joins 9 Other States to Mandate Heart-Health Training for Coaches

cak5Sudden cardiac arrest is the number-one killer of student athletes. Kudos to the Ohio Legislature to join nine other states to overwhelmingly approve a bill designed to make both coaches and student athletes more likely to recognize the signs of potential cardiac trouble.

Nine Ohio students have lost their lives due to sudden cardiac arrest in Ohio just this year while participating in activities, including organized athletics. The bill requires a coach at a school or a youth sports organization to annually undergo training so that they would be more likely to see a problem and pull an athlete from the game.

The measure also prohibits student athletes from suiting up until he gets a doctor’s permission if he has experienced fainting spells in the past or if an immediate family member has experienced sudden cardiac arrest. He also must get a physician’s OK to return to play after being removed from a game.

Even an athlete who has not experienced a problem would have to submit a form indicating he has reviewed guidelines to be developed by the state Departments of Health and Education.

State Sen. Cliff Hite who coached future Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger admitted he might not have recognized signs of trouble during his own coaching career and might have tended to push an athlete harder if he demonstrated weakness on the field.

Representative Bill Kean said, it’s overkill,”

“They’re already doing those kinds of things that need to be done to protect the children…We’re always mandating things on schools, and we’re never giving them more money. We need to stop mandating all this stuff and let the schools do what they know how to do best.”

Paul Dobbs



December 6, 2016