As amended, the bill delays the physical examination requirement for certain student-athletes who participate in school-sponsored athletic activities during the fall athletic season of the 2020-2021 school year. The first draft of the legislation had proposed waiving the physical for the fall season. The legislation applies to the 2020-2021 school year.
Current Law Under current law, before a student enrolled in grades six through 12 may participate in a school-sponsored interscholastic or intramural athletic activity, the student-athlete is required to receive a physical examination within 365 days before the first day of official practice of the athletic season. When a student-athlete’s physical examination was completed more than 90 days before the first day of official practice, current law also requires the student-athlete to provide a health history update questionnaire, which is completed by the student’s parent or guardian and reviewed by the school nurse and athletic trainer.
Provisions of the New Bill Under the new bill, a student-athlete who has not completed a physical examination within 365 days prior to the first day of official practice in the fall athletic season of the 2020-2021 school year would be permitted to participate in a school-sponsored interscholastic or intramural athletic team or squad during that season, provided that the student-athlete completes the physical examination before the end of the athletic season, and provided that the student-athlete’s parent or guardian provides proof, before the first day of official practice of the athletic season, that the physical examination is scheduled.
A student-athlete who qualifies for participation in a school-sponsored athletic activity under the provisions of this bill would be required to complete the health history update questionnaire before the first day of official practice of the fall athletic season of the 2020-2021 school year. If the student-athlete answers in the affirmative to any question included in the health history update questionnaire, then the student-athlete may not participate in the school-sponsored athletic activity until he is further evaluated by the school physician, or if a school physician is not available, any other licensed physician.
NJSBA supports the bill as amended. The Senate version of the bill was passed on June 15; the bill will now go to the full Assembly for a vote.