CPR requirement added to club sports

Team captains on club sports had more to do this year than just collect membership fees and organize practices. They also had to make sure that two members of the team were CPR certified.

Teams that already had two members certified viewed the requirement as an easy step, but some smaller teams had to go through more work. Despite this, club sport captains said this new requirement from the Yale University Athletic Department ensures athlete safety and that they appreciate that the club sports office has provided a way to receive certification free of charge.

“We continually assess the needs and requirements of our teams, and felt that it was time to try to implement this requirement, especially since the training is so easily accessible online now,” Tom Migdalski, director of club sports, said.

According to an email sent to club sport captains on Sept. 6, Migdalski said that teams must have provided proof that two members have CPR certification by Sept. 15 or face a temporary suspension. So far teams have been fulfilling the requirements, but the club sports office is not yet rigidly enforcing suspensions because the program is still in an experimental phase, Migdalski added.

“We won’t be very tough on ‘suspension’ unless our requests are totally ignored,” Migdalski said.

Teams without two members already certified can take a new two-hour class online for $35, which the club sports office will reimburse.

Though many team captains said they found the requirement inconvenient, they all said they appreciate Yale’s efforts to protect its students.

“We’re all doing physical activities, and it’s good to have a first responder, to have someone deal with the situation at hand and give preliminary treatment,” Chris Tokita ’14, captain of the Muay Thai team, said.

Although it may seem statistically that teams with more members can complete the requirement more easily, Migdalski said he does not think the size of the sport influences clubs’ ability to get certification.

Though the ballroom dance team has nearly 100 members, it does not yet have two members certified. The team plans to encourage board members to get certification since they come to practices more often, said Allen Granzberg ’13, captain of the ballroom dance team.

“Two people is not a lot to ask,” cricket captain Alexander Tanner ’13 said. “I don’t know any club sports with only five people, most have at least 10 or 15 people.”

But Tanner said smaller teams, such as cricket — which has around 10 people attend its weekly practices — might find it more of a hassle to get two members certified. Rebecca Zhu ’14, co-captain of the 15-member women’s tennis team, agreed.

“We think it’s good that they’re taking precautions, but it’s something else we have to put on our checklist,” Zhu said.

Like the ballroom team’s plan, the women’s tennis team is counting on its leadership to fulfill the requirement. Zhu and her co-captain Analisse Marquez ’14 plan to get certified.

For some teams, this new requirement may not be critical since medical personnel are already at home and away contests. Sports that are at higher risk for injury due to full contact have professional EMT coverage at all home competitions, Migdalski said.

The men’s rugby team also has a full-time trainer who attends home games and some practices, said captain Nicolas Finger ’12.

“I hope that it never gets to the point where the team needs to rely on the players that are CPR trained given the additional medical staff on hand at competitions,” Finger said.

But other sports may have a greater need.

“Muay Thai is very much so a contact sport, so hypothetically someone could get knocked out and need CPR,” said Tokita. He added that it was not difficult for his team to fulfill the requirement, as several members were graduate or medical school students. Similarly, the Nordic skiing team turned to a grad student to fulfill the requirement.

Though Nordic skiing is not very dangerous, injuries can occur.

“First aid and CPR classes are helpful because people could have heart trouble while Nordic skiing, since it’s a cardiovascular sport,” Nordic ski captain Sonja Peterson ’14 said.

She said CPR and first aid certification is fairly standard and that she was a bit surprised that Yale did not have it before, since many high schools have it as a requirement.

Daniel Pitcairn ’13, a captain of the men’s soccer team, said that it seems the CPR requirement appears less warranted than a first aid certification requirement.

“The likelihood of an injury in need of first aid increases drastically when going from regular daily life to playing a sport like soccer, [but] I’m not sure the same can be said of the need for CPR,” Pitcairn said, adding that CPR has never been needed during a soccer game or practice that he has witnessed.

There are 48 club sports at Yale.

Comments