It’s Throwdown Season!

Are you putting on a throwdown or competition of some kind? Or considering putting one on?  Awesome! But there’s a few things I want you to be aware of when hosting one of these epic CrossFit events.

Have YOU thought about medical coverage?

Unfortunately, things happen and when you have athletes leaving it all on the line, giving everything they have – there is risk of injury. There are many different healthcare professionals out there, and many who would love to help out at your throwdown, but do you know who is the best to have around covering your event?

Some basic steps to help you make the decisions to protect yourself and the competitors:

  1. Know the laws! Every state has different laws that outline what healthcare professional can do. The biggest thing you need to know is who can make return to play decisions. If an injury occurs, an athlete can not be allowed to return to play by just any medical professional. For example, EMTs can’t make the return to play decision. Doctors, PAs, NPs and Athletic Trainers can make the call for an athlete to return to participation.
  2. What’s your budget? What’s your budget for medical coverage? Are you looking for volunteers only? Know what you have to spend up front so you can plan ahead and not get into trouble.
  3. Briefly interview your potential people… Do these professionals know anything about CrossFit or a CrossFit event? Be sure they know what they’re getting into.
  4. Have a clearly outlined schedule of events and number of athletes… Be prepared for questions, time line and number of potential athletes. Many healthcare professionals get paid by the hour. The more organized you are the better off you will be.
What’s the difference between all the potential healthcare professionals you can bring in?  (in no particular order)

Doctors (MD, DO): Doctors are pretty self explanatory. They evaluate, diagnose, and make return to play decisions. But keep in mind, they are the most expensive if you are paying per event/hour.

Physician Assistants/Nurse Practioners: These are very skilled healthcare professionals who can also evaluate, diagnose, and make the return to play decision.

Athletic Trainers: My bias aside (since I am an athletic trainer) – athletic trainers are healthcare professionals trained to work with the physically active, evaluate, treat, rehabilitation, taping, hands on work and mobility, can make the return to play decision and are well versed in concussion management (a hot button issue these days). (These are typically the people running across the football field when a player goes down, just before they cut to commercial.)

Physical Therapists: PTs are excellent with hands on, mobility and rehabilitation. Many are trained in kinesio taping and active release too. In many states it is not in their scope of practice to make return to play decisions.

Chiropractors: Many of the CF competitions I have attended have chiropractors onsite. They play a great role in mobility, manipulations, and just keeping athletes bodies working right. Many have training in kinesio taping and active release techniques, among many others. Some states practice acts don’t allow them to make return to play decisions.

As you can see, you have lots of healthcare professionals to choose from. The biggest thing is to have some people there to help in the event of injuries… Make sure you protect yourself, your box and your athletes.

Most importantly – have a medical team who works together! Have fun!