Colorado high school organization responds to negative health and safety policy sports ranking

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Photo - Pine Creek quarterback Brock Domann rolls out during practice at the school Wednesday, September 14, 2016. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Pine Creek quarterback Brock Domann rolls out during practice at the school Wednesday, September 14, 2016. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

It didn't take long for the Colorado High School Activities Association to dispute the Korey Stringer Institute's state rankings for health and safety policy released Tuesday.

Colorado ranked last of the 51 governing bodies, which included the District of Columbia. The rankings reflected the cumulative score of policies in five areas: exertional heat stroke, traumatic head injuries, sudden cardiac arrest, appropriate health care coverage and emergency preparedness.

Colorado totaled just 23 points of a possible 100 and failed to earn a single point in the heat stroke and emergency preparedness portions. North Carolina topped the rankings at 78.75 percent. The median score was 47.1 percent, according to the rankings.

CHSAA released a response just after noon Tuesday.

"Colorado has long been a national leader in many of the advances in player safety and sports medicine," the release states. "The ranking released Tuesday morning by the Korey Stringer Institute is not an accurate reflection of what is happening in the state of Colorado surrounding sports medicine and player safety."

New CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said CHSAA decided not to participate in the survey associated with the rankings.

"We respect all the work that the Korey Stringer Institute does to educate nationally on these areas, but it was not clear to our Association how these statistics and numbers would be used," Blanford-Green said in the release.

CHSAA was not alone in its criticism of the study.

The National Federation of State High School Associations characterized the findings as insufficient in a separate release.

"A review of state association websites, such as the one employed by KSI, is an incomplete measurement of the efforts employed by states to assist their member schools with heat, heart and head issues. Providing more research data, as well as funds to enact more prevention programs, would be much more useful than giving grades to these associations," NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner said.

The CHSAA website's page on sports medicine includes links regarding prevention of heat illness, concussion protocols and cardiac arrest.