Thursday, May 31, 2012

10.2.1 The home team must provide at least two licensed or certified medical professionals with expertise in emergency and urgent medical care. These medical professionals will supply the necessary equipment and supplies to handle such injuries or conditions as can be reasonably expected to occur at a roller derby bout. The medical professionals will be present during the entire warm up and game.

I’m sure everyone knows that medics are present at every bout they skate in. What I’m curious about is how many people knew that was spelled out in the rules. Considering that part of the main focus of the rules is safety, it makes sense that this rule exists. It does not require the medical professionals to be doctors, EMTs, sports trainers, or any other such position. So long as the personnel are licensed or certified medical professionals, then they meet the requirements of the rules. Sometimes a league may bout in a venue or hold insurance that requires more specific medical personnel. That is something to be dealt with as each situation arises. However, any medical personnel required by a venue contract or insurance policy must be licensed or certified to meet the requirements of the rules. All the medical personnel must be present during the game, per this rule. That means if a skater is injured, and one of the medical professionals is tending to them in a hallway, concourse, outside, or any other part of a venue that isn’t on or near the track, the game must wait until they return. An EMT in the hallway of an arena is not an EMT present during a game. Medical professionals need to respond to any accidents that occur on the track. That is why sometimes during bouts where an injury occurs, there may be a lengthy Official Timeout before play may continue, while the referees wait for the missing medical professional(s) to return. Interestingly, this rule also requires the medical professionals to present during the entire warm up. I find this part interesting because the rules only reach outside of the confines of regulation play (from the first whistle of the game to the last). I find this odd, because the rules are to be enforced by the referees. However, referees may not even be present during a team’s warm up, and therefore it is difficult for referees to enforce this part of the rule. That being said, it is a rule, and leagues should be ensuring that medical professionals are present during team warm ups.