Interscholastic Division Coaches' Eligibility Policy

Coaches' Eligibility Policy

The Coaches' Eligibility Policy was established by the MPA membership to provide proper training of coaches, to ensure the safety of student athletes, and to improve the overall quality of the interscholastic program.

A person shall be eligible to coach in any interscholastic high school athletic contest, provided the person satisfies all of the following conditions (for purposes of this section, "coach" shall mean all persons who coach an interscholastic high school athletic team in any way, whether for pay or as a volunteer at the varsity, junior varsity and freshman level):

A.  The person's appointment as coach must be approved by the local educational agency responsible for the member school at which the person coaches.

B.  The coach must be at least 20 years of age or a high school graduate at the commencement of the sport season for which the person has been appointed to coach. For purposes of this section, a season shall be deemed to have commenced on the first day on which the team practices, including practices scheduled to determine the members of the team.

C.  The coach must sign a statement acknowledging that he/she has read, understood, and agreed to comply with and abide by all MPA bylaws, policies, and the Code of Ethics.

D.  The coach must have successfully completed a coaching eligibility course. (Refer to Appendix R, Coaches' Eligibility, on page 38 of the MPA Handbook and Directory).

E.  The coach must have successfully completed a sport first aid course. Every coach must take a first aid course every five years.

F.  Every coach must have successfully completed a basic CPR/AED program and must maintain/carry a current CPR-AED card.

G.  Every coach must have viewed the NFHS "Concussion in Sports" video.

H.  Every coach must have viewed the NFHS "Heat Illness Prevention" video.

I.  Every coach must have viewed the NFHS "Heat Acclimitization" video.

A coach who fails to satisfy, comply with or conform to the requirements of this section shall be ineligible to coach in any interscholastic athletic contest.

Implementation

All coaches shall have a period of twelve (12) months after their date of hire or appointment to satisfy the requirements of successfully completing the coaching eligibility course, the sport first aid program and the CPR/AED program. Components A,B and C must be met prior to the start of the season.

The administration at the school is responsible for determining the eligibility of coaches prior to the start of each sport season.  The school must maintain a current portfolio for each coach containing evidence of compliance. The MPA may request access to the portfolio if a challenge occurs. Coaches should also maintain copies of their portfolio.

The association strongly suggests that this information be reviewed at a meeting of all coaches prior to the start of each season. A pre-season meeting may be used to discuss the school's athletic philosophy when reviewing the MPA Handbook, Code of Ethics, and bulletins.

If a coach changes assignments to another school, the school of hire will be expected to review the coach's portfolio and eligibility.  Upon receipt of verification of completion of the components of the Coaches' Eligibility standards, the Maine Principals' Association will issue an eligibility card free of charge to the school's athletic administrator for distribution to the inpidual. A fee will be charged for replacement cards. A file of coaches who have completed eligibility requirements will be maintained by the MPA office.

Acceptable / Equivalent Programs

In the MPA Bylaws, Article II, Section 3 Coaches' Eligibility and Appendix R, reference is made to equivalents for both coaching eligibility courses and sport first aid programs. The following information is provided to assist the high school principal in determining what programs are acceptable and to help determine what is an equivalent program.

Any of the following will meet the requirement of the coaches' eligibility course:

  1. NFHS Online Fundamentals of Coaching Course
  2. ASEP Coaching Principles Course
  3. "Coaching Principles" reflected on a college transcript
  4. Physical Education major at college
  5. Coaching minor at college
  6. Equivalent Instruction: Course content must include the course content listed below:

An equivalent program in "Coaches Eligibility" is defined as one in which the following topics are thoroughly covered:

  • Role of the coach
  • Development of a coaching philosophy
  • Sport psychology
  • Proper nutrition and health
  • Physical training and conditioning
  • Communication and motivation

Any of the following will meet the requirement of the sport first aid course.  The Sport First Aid course must be renewed every five years:

  • NFHS Sport First Aid Program
  • Maine Athletic Trainers' Association course
  • ASEP Sport First Aid course
  • First Aid reflected on college transcript, taken after January 1, 2007 and renewed every five years
  • American Red Cross - Sport Safety Training
  • Equivalent Instruction: Course content must include the course content listed below:

An equivalent program in "Sport First Aid" is defined as one in which the following topics are thoroughly covered:

  • Your Role on the Athletic Health Care Team
  • Sport First Aid Game Plan
  • Anatomy and Sport Injury Terminology
  • Primary Survey and Providing Life Support
  • Secondary Survey and First Aid Techniques
  • Moving Injured or Sick Athletes
  • Respiratory Emergencies and Illnesses
  • Closed Head and Spine Injuries
  • Internal Organ Injuries
  • Sudden Illnesses
  • Weather-Related Problems
  • Upper Body Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Lower Body Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Facial and Scalp Injuries
  • Skin problems

Any of the following will meet the requirement of the CPR/AED requirement if current:

  • American Red Cross
  • American Heart Association
  • Emergency and Safety Institute

An equivalent program in "CPR/AED" may be provided by a certified instructor through inpidual schools. Examples of certified instructors may be:

  • Certified Athletic Trainer
  • School Nurse
  • EMT

The course fees are the responsibility of either the indvidual coach seeking eligibility or a sponsoring school.

The NFHS concussion video is a requirement and there are no other approved equivalent programs.

The NFHS heat acclimatization and heat illness prevention video is a requirement and there are not other approved equivalent programs.

Sample Coaches' Eligibility Certification Form

I certify that I have completed the following requirements set forth by the Maine Principals' Association's By-laws related to coaches' eligibility:

  1. I have been approved by the local educational agency.
  2. I am at least 20 years of age or am a high school graduate.
  3. I acknowledge that I have read, understand, and agree to comply with the MPA's Bylaws, policies, and Code of Ethics. (MPA Handbook)
  4. I have successfully completed the Maine Coaching Eligibility Course or an equivalent which has been approved by the administration of the school where I coach.
  5. I have successfully completed the Maine Athletic Trainers' Association program or an equivalent which has been approved by the principal of the school where I coach.
  6. I have successfully completed a basic CPR-AED program.
  7. I have successfully viewed the NFHS "Concussion in Sports" video.
  8. I have successfully viewed the NFHS "Heat Illness Prevention" video.

Evidence of completion is on file with my principal or his/her designee.
Name (Please Print):________________________________________________
Signature:_________________________________________________________
Date:____________________________

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