MSHSAA requiring band students to complete pre-performance physicals

It won’t be long before drum majors start leading high school marching bands in halftime...
It won’t be long before drum majors start leading high school marching bands in halftime performances. Before anyone can take the field, all band students must have a pre-performance physical on file.(KY3)
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 5:11 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It won’t be long before drum majors start leading high school marching bands in halftime performances. Before anyone can take the field, band students must have a pre-performance physical on file.

Band students wake up and go to school early in the morning to rehearse their halftime performance, which can be physically demanding.

“We’ve been having a conversation and having annual ballots and having surveys go out to school districts across the state really heavily the last four years,” said Springfield Public Schools Activities Director Josh Scott. “This year, it came from the sports medicine that they 100% agreed and recommended that band students have a pre-participation physical then that vote went out to the member schools and the state and overwhelmingly, member schools voted to approve the addition of physicals for band students.”

Leaders at the Missouri State High School Activities Association looked at the physical demands of the activity and decided to require students to have a pre-performance physical on file. Doctors are looking for heart and blood pressure problems that could make it dangerous to be out in the heat. Once a student completes their physical, it stays on file for two years.

“If you just Google what scary conditions have been found by pre-participation physicals, you would find enlarged hearts, you would find kids that maybe their blood pressure was too high,” said Scott. “If you have high blood pressure or really low blood pressure, you really need to minimize how often you’re out in the direct sun and heat. So, a slew of different health issues could be caught in these pre-participation physicals.”

Holding instruments and moving all over a field requires a bit of athleticism. These students will take the field for band camp in just a few weeks and perfect their performance in the heat. School officials decided requiring physicals could protect students from a medical emergency.

“You look at what kids are carrying around, and we aren’t even touching on the percussion department or a tuba,” said Scott. “No matter what, we know it’s physically taxing being out in this heat that we’ve experienced the last several weeks, and then you carry an instrument. You’re out long hours, and you’re also trying to perform.

Springfield Public Schools and Cox Health are partnering to offer free physicals at the back-to-school bash Saturday, July 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. These forms must be completed if a student wants to participate in any sports or marching band next school year.

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