Investigation of standard of care for middle school athletes
The purpose of this study was to determine common themes used by stakeholder members in the Texas public school districts within the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex in their decision-making process to identify the need for quality standard of care for athletes at the middle school level of competition and to make recommendations regarding how this service can be fiscally accomplished. There have been many studies on the standard of care in athletics at the high school setting; however there is no research that could be located regarding the standard of care at the middle school level. The qualitative data were collected through interviewing 11 District Athletic Directors from DFW Metroplex public school districts in Texas. The standard of care in middle school athletics throughout the 4A and 5A public schools in the DFW Metroplex was minimal and even nonexistent. Though the standard of care for middle school athletes was a concern among the participating Athletic Directors, the stakeholders attribute this condition to legislation and local budgetary concerns that overshadowed their ability to provide a higher quality standard of care to the entire middle school athletic population. In the future, there will be no change or even a reduction in middle school athletics, if local budgetary issues are not resolved and mandates from legislation are not funded.