The NCAA does not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. However, athletes should keep up to date on the requirements of their institution and their state’s department of health. The current plan for fall sports 2021 is to give athletes the option to wear a mask without enforcing a mask mandate.
Delta is a more contagious variant that may necessitate policy changes. As always, we recommend social distancing when possible and making smart choices off the field—as that is where we see most of the transmission. Several 2020 studies reveal there was minimal transmission of the virus during competition.
A critical component to safety in sport is equipment. Equipment should be properly fitted, NOCSAE certified, and in good condition. Included are links to helmet/headgear ratings performed at Virginia Tech university.
For those that may undergo drug testing please understand you are responsible for all medications. Always check or ask if you are taking a new medication. The attached WADA document can be a resource.
Supplements are commonly used but are not FDA regulated. Remember each athlete is responsible for the medication and supplements they take, so if you are an athlete that could be drug tested, make sure to know what you are taking. Attached is simple handout outlining how to make good choices on supplements.
These medications are used frequently for the treatment of ADD/ADHD. As these medications are stimulants they are banned from use in athletes in collegiate/Olympic sports. A formal diagnosis given by a trained psychologist is required and needs to be documented in drug tested athletes for these medications to be used.
Each state/school has different requirements but in general each high school student needs a physical examination every other year. Make sure to schedule the appointment early so you are not rushing right before practice starts. Universities will check all freshman and perform interim physicals each of the following years. The NCAA requires sickle cell trait testing for incoming first years. There is a waiver that can be signed for the sickle cell test but we recommend taking the test at the same time as the physical. Some universities are requiring an ECG (electrocardiogram) for incoming freshman and this is often performed at the college/university.