Are You Athletically Cleared?

Lovely WeatherSomebody once told me that Professional Sports are about three things, which are, “Money, More Money, and the Most Money.”  The recent NFL lockout certainly proves that.

By that reasoning, then, I suppose college sports are about, “Money, More Money, and Under the Table Money,” leaving high school sports with nothing but “Bragging rights, more bragging rights, and winning.”

(Sportsmanship hasn’t been included since you learned to walk, or maybe the peewee leagues.  Remember those?  Elementary school-age sports were all about “Trophies, Team Parties, and the After-Game Snacks”).

If you want to participate in the ancient ritual known as destroying the other team, whatever your medium (tackling, kicking, hitting with a ball, etc), you need to be athletically cleared.  The reason for this is so that if you lose (and are destroyed by the opposing team), the school doesn’t get sued.

There will be numerous forms that you need to fill out to become athletically cleared.  The first one is medical/physical, to make sure you aren’t a burden to your own team.  The next is a code of conduct/contract, to add to the thirty other things you’d be violating if you ever did drugs or alcohol.  The third is a set of guidelines that must be met academically, so you can pretend to be educated enough to the point where it is almost believable you understood the words on the contract/code of conduct.

Going in order, let’s start with the physical form.  The smartest thing to do is have your regular doctor fill it out, avoiding the horrible school examination.

According to the form, the first thing that is checked is “appearance”, proving that everyone who says it doesn’t matter how you look skipped high school altogether.

Further down the form is nice little chart, which lists all your body parts and then has a section for “Abnormal Findings.”  The abnormal section is five times larger than the “normal” section; but, even so, the doctor often has to resort to using simple tally marks to count the number of abnormalities, and then staples a 7-page report to the back of the form.

Then you get your standard questionnaire, with boxes for yes, no, and don’t know, but some schools, especially those going through tough times, slip some things in.  So, right between, “Has the athlete ever had leprosy?” and “Does the athlete have a right arm?” (don’t know), you might see something sneaky like “Will the athlete allow him/herself to be sold for parts after the sport is complete?”

If you make it through the questions, than all that is left is the ‘recommended’ examination protocol form, which lists actions the school wants the doctor to evaluate you on.  Actions include “Shrug shoulders against resistance-tests Trapezius strength,” but if you’re in a rush you can just do the hokey-pokey instead.

Next, you have your ‘contract’, which reads something like this:

 I am not being forced to play sports, aside from peer pressure, recruiters, and the fact that my cat has been taken hostage.  I realize that by participating in athletics I could be decapitated, drawn and quartered, or any other injury, and that injury could be seriously harmful or deadly.  I also promise to avoid drugs, alcohol, communism, and candy from strangers; otherwise, I will be subject to district regulations-meaning I will end up as a piece of training equipment for the linebackers.

You don’t really need to read it unless you want to scare yourself, so just put your name (or anybody’s name, I’m not sure how closely they check these) at the bottom.

Finally, you’ve got your academic requirements.  You need to have:

  •  Passed at least 1 class, and yes, study hall/late arrival counts
  • Be making progress towards graduation-meaning taking another “early release” this year
  • Be enrolled in classes this year (study hall)
  • Paid athletic fee ($8,000,000) and any other applicable fines (parking fines, overdue library books, usage of oxygen fees, replacement of windows you shattered in science, etc)
  • Donated at least 7 gallons of blood or spent three weeks building schools in Africa
  • Proof of purchase of all appendages (legs, arms, neck, etc)

If you can successfully fill all three of those forms out, then, congratulations! Not only are you athletically cleared, but you also are in good health, aren’t a communist, and donated blood/helped African children.

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Comments

  1. communism! I love it!

    • I’m going to assume you meant the joke about communism, because, being an American citizen myself, it is unfathomable to me how anyone could love communism :). In fact, it scares me so much that I am now going to throw my computer, with the love communism message, in the nearest body of water.

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