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What is a Sports Physical?

A sports physical is a comprehensive history and physical. The sports physical form comes from the Kentucky High School Athletics Association and can be found on their web site, It must be signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or chiropractor (if it is within their scope of practice.)

Who Needs a Sports Physical?

Any middle school or high school student who plans to participate in a sport under the Kentucky High School Athletics Association will need a sports physical. You can always get a sports physical. It is better to have one and not have to use it than to miss out on playing.

How Often Do I Have to Get a Sports Physical?

A sports physical form is good for one calendar year. If you have your sports physical done in the spring semester, then it will still be good in the fall of the next school year.

I Had a School Physical, is That the Same Thing?

No. Generally, the school physical form is different from a sports physical form. If you need a sports form, then you must ask for it specifically.

When Should I Have My Sports Physical?

You should give yourself plenty of time before your physical is due. The doctor’s office gets busy as everyone is getting ready to go back to school, so make your appointment early. Most people don’t think about it at the end of the school year or early summer, which is a great time to beat the rush! Also, if your doctor finds an abnormality then you may need additional work up before you are cleared to play sports, so you want to give yourself plenty of time.

Is There Anything I Can Do to be Ready for My Sports Physical?

The sports physical form is long and has about 60 questions to answer before you see your doctor. You can download your form from the KHSAA Web site prior to your appointment and have it already filled out. If you don’t have a form, ask for it as soon as you get to your doctor’s office. You can fill out the form in the waiting room and it will save you some time once you are brought back to see the doctor.

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David Koch MS, ATC

David Koch MS, LAT, ATC is a Certified Athletic Trainer with UofL Health working at Shelby County High School. David has experience working in rehabilitation clinics as well as in school settings helping athletes from youth to college to stay in the game or return to activity following an injury David earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in from Ripon College and a Master of Science degree from Illinois State University.

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