Governor Murphy Signs Athlete Safety Bills

Governor Signature

Trenton - Governor Phil Murphy today signed two bills that improve the safety of New Jersey student-athletes. 

“By enacting these measures today, we are making sure that student-athletes have the resources and protections to enjoy school sports programs safely,” said Governor Murphy. 

S2443 mandates all NJ secondary schools to follow the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) guidelines, which provide guidelines  to assess weather conditions in hot and humid environments and provide appropriate modifications for participating in practices and games. determine if it is safe to continue with a scheduled practices or games

Under the legislation, a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) heat stress tracker must be used to determine the environmental conditions at every school athletic field. The WBGT measures ambient temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and radiant heat from the sun. The law will take effect in the coming 2020-2021 school year.

S2494 requires school districts to develop and implement an emergency action plan in the event of a serious or potentially life-threatening sports-related injury. 

The law would apply to all public school districts and nonpublic schools with grades 6 through 12.

“The Athletic Trainers' Society of New Jersey, Inc. (ATSNJ) is excited and extremely pleased to see Governor Murphy signing these two pieces of legislation into law,” said Kevin W. Briles, A.T., C., CSCS, EMT-B, President of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey, Inc. 

“Requiring New Jersey's schools to establish an Athletics' Emergency Action Plan and follow the State's Heat Participation Policy helps ensure safer participation by their student-athletes. Licensed athletic trainers strive to provide the safest competitive environment for their athletes and will continue to advocate for the health, safety, and wellness of the state's physically active." 

Emergency action plan established will be required to include, but not be limited to:

  • A list of employees, team coaches, and licensed athletic trainers in each school trained in first aid or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. 
  • Identification of the employees, team coaches, or licensed athletic trainers in each school who will be responsible for carrying out the emergency action plan, with a description of their respective responsibilities.
  • Identification of the activity location or venue.
  • Identification of equipment and supplies needed to respond to the emergency, including their locations.
  • A description of proper procedures to be followed after a student sustains a serious sports-related injury including, but not limited to, responding to the injured student, summoning emergency medical care, assisting emergency responders in getting to the injured student, and documenting the actions taken during the emergency.
  • Emergency action plan to be reviewed and rehearsed by individuals responsible for its execution on an annual basis, with updates being made as necessary.

The law will take effect immediately at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.