New requirements announced for PIAA coaches

Starting next school year, a Pennsylvania law will require all coaches, including volunteers, to undergo some new training.

Coaches at all PIAA member schools will have to meet certification requirements for a number of courses related to coaching and first aid.

“All coaches and volunteers have to do this,” Warren County School District Coordinator of District-Wide Athletics Rick Gignac said. “Every coach and volunteer has to have this done by June 30, 2018.”

There were several delivery methods available to the district, including online and physical textbooks.

The program, with books, costs about $60 per coach, Gignac said. Those costs would probably have been passed on to the coaches.

The district opted for online delivery through SafeSchools Training by Scenario Learning.

“This was the best bang for the buck,” Gignac said. “And I think it’s best for the coaches.”

Scenario Learning’s offering costs the district less than $5 for each of its 170 coaches, he said. “The coaches do not have to pay for this.”

“We will send this to their email,” Gignac said.

From there, coaches will have access to the required programming.

There are numerous courses under “Fundamentals of Coaching.” They are: athletic liability; conflict management — managing the angry parent; Title IX and gender equity in athletics; hazing; steroid and PED awareness in athletics; emergency operations planning — building the plan; emergency operations planning — implementing the plan; sensitivity awareness; conflict management — student-to-student; diversity awareness — staff-to-student; and online safety — cyberbullying.

The first aid components are: first aid; sport supervision and safety; heat illness prevention; student drug and alcohol abuse; AED; and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The programs add up to 424 minutes, or about seven hours of instruction.

Each coach and volunteer will receive a certification when they complete fundamentals of coaching and other when they complete first aid.

“We’re going to get a notification when it’s complete,” Gignac said. The district will be able to send reminders to coaches who have not completed the courses as the deadline approaches.

The programming is a one-time requirement. “Once you’re done, you’re done,” Gignac said.

New coaches will have a grace period in which to earn their certifications.

There is much more online programming available and the district is looking into the possibilities, Gignac said.

If the district expands offerings, the first groups likely to use the service are custodial and cafeteria workers, he said. Administrators may also be interested.