Event Coverage

On this page you will find key information you need to know about volunteering to cover an athletic event through SCNY.


While these guidelines pertain mostly to running and multisport events (Triathlons, biathlons, cycling races) they also apply to other sports as well.

1. All doctors must have an active NY state license and proof of malpractice insurance, and have checked with their carrier that out-of-office event coverage is included in their policy. You must also have current CPR certification. All doctors must sign a waiver at each event stating that these requirements have been met and listing your license number.

2. Techniques used at SCNY events are primarily soft-tissue treatment techniques and are used for both general recovery and clinical injury treatment. All doctors must hold current post-graduate certification in soft-tissue techniques utilized at events. Athletes currently under care of a doctor of chiropractic may be adjusted with signed consent. Taping techniques such as kinesiotaping may also be used. All exams and treatments are recorded on SCNY provided forms.

3. Different events may have different requirements, based on event length, size, event director preferences, etc. For example, the requirements and protocols may be different for your local 5k race versus a half-ironman triathlon. And at some events the SCNY doctors are part of a greater medical team and help with finish line triage as well as the above recovery care. These events will have specific individual guidelines to be followed. Thus, more detailed SCNY requirements and protocols for event coverage are available in the on-line manual (SEE BELOW)  for review prior to the event.

4. All doctors must review the event coverage manual prior to covering an event, and race captains will conduct a short review of protocols at each event prior to the race start, adding any event-specific details. Additionally, our Sports Injury and Event Coverage Seminar programs (covering Exercise Physiology/Training Methods, Emergency Procedures, Injury Prevention and Advanced Treatment/Rehab Techniques) will prepare and doctors new to event coverage as well as be a review for experienced doctors.

5. Our goal with event coverage is for all events covered by SCNY to have a minimum of 2 doctors volunteering per event. For most events that are longer or have greater numbers of participants our goal is to have a minimum of 5 covering doctors. Again, different events will have different requirements.

6. If you have covered an event on your own in previous years that is not on our event calendar and would like additional volunteers to help you and would like to follow an organized event coverage plan, please contact SCNY and we will add your event to the calendar. You will be the event captain for that race, and be responsible for recruiting volunteers from the SCNY membership and maintaining the SCNY standards and protocols at the event.



In this manual you will find specific guidelines for covering an event with SCNY.  More detailed information on sports chiropractic event coverage will be available in the CEU program. This manual must be reviewed by all doctors before  covering an event. At each event, race captains will further review more details on the three different types of event care: Post-event (Recovery), Pre-event (Acute/Chronic Injury, non-emergency)  and  Emergency, as necessary for the particular event.

1. Goals of our coverage program

There are several purposes of our event coverage program:

A. Volunteerism- By volunteering at events we are helping the public, and demonstrating our enthusiasm for both chiropractic and sport.  We are giving back to our communities, which are sometimes the same communities that form our patient base.

B. Exposure for Sports Chiropractic- In performing this volunteer work, we are gaining exposure for chiropractic and it’s approach to sports injury care.  Many athletes and their families who otherwise would not be exposed to sports chiropractic in this positive light are learning about how we can help them.

C. Gaining experience- Doctors who volunteer gain valuable experience with preparing athletes to compete, managing their injuries and concerns during events, helping them recover post-event, and diagnosing and treating injuries pre and post-event. This experience gives volunteer doctors more knowledge about sports injuries, and improves their in-office patient care.

2. Requirements of coverage doctors

    To cover an event with SCNY in 2018, you must:

A. All doctors must have an active NY state license and proof of malpractice insurance, and have checked with their carrier that out-of-office event coverage is included in their policy. You must also have current CPR certification. All doctors must sign a waiver at each event stating that these requirements have been met and listing your license number.

B.  Have active SCNY membership and be in good standing. You also must either have previously volunteered for an SCNY event coverage team, or have attended an SCNY sports injury seminar. **NEW DOCTORS for 2018: We recommend you attend our  Spring Meeting in May. We also will have course material available to review prior to events as well as review our event protocols the day of events ).

C. Have current certification in any post-graduate soft-tissue treatment technique used at an event.

3. Standards of Behavior

   A. All doctors should be on time, respectful of all event staff and participants, honest, consistent, communicate well and practice to the best of their abilities within their scope of practice.  Strive to be a team player and a good example of the profession.

B. Please do not do excessive self-promotion. Participation as an event coverage doctor is first and foremost to help the athletes the day of the event. You may not give out your card or other promotional materials without the permission of the event director.

C. Dress appropriately. Please wear the official SCNY polo shirt (weather permitting). Avoid worn out clothing and suggestive/revealing clothing. Dress professionally. Avoid expensive jewelry.

D. Care of property. Please keep the treatment area as clean and organized as possible. When using other people’s equipment, please treat it as if it were your own. All treatment areas are non-smoking.

E. Conduct. Please do not use off-color or vulgar language,  or ethnic remarks/jokes.  Use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs at an event site is grounds for dismissal from an event at the discretion of the event director and/or the SCNY event captain. Sexual contact with event participants or staff is strictly prohibited, and a strict moral code between treatment team members will be in effect during event hours. What you do on your own time is your own concern, but always remember you represent your profession and SCNY.

4. Equipment Requirements

   Each individual doctor is responsible for providing themselves with the following equipment and for its care during the event.  Some events may have additional requirements.

A. Portable treatment table, headrest paper, and table cleaner.

B. Athletic tape/kinesiotape and scissors, first aid kit, exam gloves.

C. Personal water bottle and energy bars/snacks if event is “all-day”.

5. Treatment guidelines: Endurance sports

The following information pertains to the coverage of endurance sporting events (triathlons, running races from 5K to the marathon/ultra-marathon, cycling races) but may apply to other types of athletic events as well.

Three Types of Event Coverage Care:

1) Post-event Recovery Care- This is our role at many of the single-day, shorter endurance events we are covering in 2018.  The goal of this care is to assist the athletes in their immediate recovery from the event, speeding the relaxation of the musculature and the healing of any post-race myofascial tightness, spasm, or cramping.  Even though we are not doing full diagnosis, this type of care can be very valuable for recreational to professional endurance athletes, as this immediate recovery care is faster than having to wait for an appointment during the week with another provider and also makes those visits easier on the athletes body when they do occur.  At the least, recovery care assists in redistributing the blood flow from the extremities to the core.   After an brief history, general observation and regional exam of any area of complaint, and with signed consent, recovery care is accomplished through the application of soft-tissue treatment techniques.  These are performed to the tolerance of the athlete.  All history and areas of treatment plus any recommendations for the athlete are recorded.  Athletes with minor injuries, such as cuts/abrasions, blisters, minor cramping, may be treated with recovery care and either also treated for the minor injury or referred to a separate medical tent or standby ambulance for first aid for the minor injury.  However, athletes presenting with symptoms of weakness/dizziness and/or signs of heat illness, dehydration, hyponatremia, or hypothermia are not treated, and are referred to the medical tent or ambulance, depending on the event set-up.

2) Pre-event (Acute/Chronic Injury Care, non-emergency) Care-  At some of the longer endurance events, we provide pre-race treatments the day or days before the race.  Besides any needed first aid care, this often includes a more detailed exam of the athletes, who often are battling overuse injuries and/or travel related complaints before big races that they have trained months for.  A more detailed history and exam is performed, and a specific diagnosis is reached and treatment is more extensive than with recovery care.  Treatment includes soft-tissue treatment, assisted stretching, taping, and spinal/extremity adjustments with consent and all within the state scope of practice.  Also, advice may be given on the injury and further post-event care for when the athlete returns home, as well as advice on self-stretches, rehab exercises and self-care before and post event. For acute injuries discovered during a pre-race treatment, decisions on an athlete competing or not are made with the input of coaches, and parents for minors, and event administrators are notified of athletes that do not race or drop out because of specific injury.

3) Emergency Care- At most events an ambulance with Emergency Medical Technicians and Advanced Life Support capability is on hand. In the event of life-threatening trauma, as soon as possible the athlete should be handed over to the EMT personnel.  Stabilization of the patient and basic life support should be performed until then.  If any treatment team members have advanced emergency care certification they should be the primary care provider, again until EMT personnel are available.  Use gloves to care for any open wounds!  Any data on the history of injury, vital signs, and any treatment given before emergency personnel were available should be provided when they arrive.  Once they take over, let them do their job and do not interfere.

Again, please note that specific guidelines for each event will be reviewed the day of the event.