Parents hopeful new app could protect student athletes - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Parents hopeful new app could protect student athletes

Posted: Updated:

The relationship between an athlete, a coach, an athletic trainer, and a parent can be a complicated one. When that communication falls apart, the results can be life changing, and a solution can seem impossible to find.

That is until now. One man in Texas thinks he may have the answer to fixing miscommunication issues out on the field, and it's one that some local parents hope might be the answer they've been looking for.


"It's one of them deals you wouldn't wish on anybody,” says Buck Back.

“They say that will never happen to our kid, and then it happens to your kid or it happens to somebody you know and it opens your eyes,” says Shannon Back. “And that's all we're hoping for is that it opens somebody's eyes, that somebody's listening."

Robert Back was injured while playing high school football in 2014. That injury left him a quadriplegic, and led to years of legal back and forth. Part of the debate focused on who actually cleared Robert to play in the first place, and how that was communicated to all parties.

In the end, a jury ruled against the Backs, finding no negligence on the part of Benefis Health System. The Belt School District settled.

But even though legal proceedings may be over, the question remains: who does send your child back to play after an injury? The coach? The parent? Or the athletic trainer?

"The gaps are in oversight, the gaps are in documentation, and the gaps are in communication."

Enter Steven Horwitz, founder of TeamSafe Sports. After spending over 30 years in the medical field, with a number of those spent on the sidelines of youth sports, Horwitz says it's easy to see where these gaps arise.

"So sitting in front of coaches for 25 years, I get it, coaches just wanna coach."

But Horwitz says it's not just about the coaches. Parents and medical providers also play a huge role… only, they're usually on different stages.

That's where Horwitz's latest project, TeamSafe Sports, comes in.

It's an app that provides a full roster of a team's athletes, and gives detailed information about each one's medical status at any given time.

Using TeamSafe is simple… once the coaches and app administrators set up an account, all parents have to do is download the app and fill out their child's information, including emergency contacts, previous injuries, and any current medical conditions.

So that when something happens out on the field, you just pull up the app, remove the child from play, and immediately everyone receives a text message with the update. Horwitz says this communication is the key to avoiding catastrophic injuries.

And for Shannon and Buck Back, anything that could help prevent another horrible situation like Robert's is worth giving a shot.

"If that app was implemented and they were forced to follow that app, then yeah, yeah I think things would have been different, you know to our knowledge he wasn't supposed to be playing at all or practicing and he wasn't until the night of the game, so yeah it would have helped,” Buck says.

While there's no way to know how things could have turned out, Horwitz and the Backs believe had TeamSafe been around during Robert's injury, things may have ended differently.

"You really can't rely on your coaches and your schools and your doctors... between that app and what happened to Robert, maybe it will open people’s eyes, and maybe it will prevent it from happening again. That's the main thing right there."

So… who does clear your child to play after an injury? According to the Montana High School Association, any athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury may not return to play until they have received a written clearance from a licensed health care provider.

When asked if MHSA would ever consider using the TeamSafe Sports app, they responded by stating they will continue to follow nationwide safe and best practices for return to play protocol.

TeamSafe is available for download right now.  A high school association in Florida is currently using it across their schools in a pilot program, and a university-based research project is being conducted to see how far the app's uses can go.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Reports of two ATV accidents

    Reports of two ATV accidents

    Saturday, May 19 2018 9:47 PM EDT2018-05-20 01:47:38 GMT
    Saturday, May 19 2018 9:47 PM EDT2018-05-20 01:47:38 GMT
    Cascade County Sheriff's Office confirms two separate ATV accidents. One is on Highway 89 mile marker 58. Mercy flight responded to the call. They said the victim is a male of unknown age with a head injury and he is conscious. The other is out by Vaughn. The victim is also a male age unknown at this time with bleeding from his head and nose. As we learn more we will update the story.  
    Cascade County Sheriff's Office confirms two separate ATV accidents. One is on Highway 89 mile marker 58. Mercy flight responded to the call. They said the victim is a male of unknown age with a head injury and he is conscious. The other is out by Vaughn. The victim is also a male age unknown at this time with bleeding from his head and nose. As we learn more we will update the story.  
  • I-15 closed due to flooding reopened after all day closure

    I-15 closed due to flooding reopened after all day closure

    Saturday, May 19 2018 2:47 PM EDT2018-05-19 18:47:05 GMT
    Saturday, May 19 2018 9:49 PM EDT2018-05-20 01:49:46 GMT

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana authorities have closed an interstate highway in both directions after high water washed out a culvert running underneath it and caused the roadway to crumble.    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says Interstate 15 between Jefferson City and Boulder was shut down on Friday, and the closure continues Saturday.    Suggested detours between Helena and Butte include U.S. Highway 287 through Three Forks and U.S. Highway 12 through Garri...

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana authorities have closed an interstate highway in both directions after high water washed out a culvert running underneath it and caused the roadway to crumble.    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says Interstate 15 between Jefferson City and Boulder was shut down on Friday, and the closure continues Saturday.    Suggested detours between Helena and Butte include U.S. Highway 287 through Three Forks and U.S. Highway 12 through Garri...

  • Georgia man claims son was raped at Special K Ranch

    Georgia man claims son was raped at Special K Ranch

    Friday, May 18 2018 6:18 PM EDT2018-05-18 22:18:18 GMT
    Friday, May 18 2018 6:18 PM EDT2018-05-18 22:18:18 GMT
    Courtesy: Facebook/SpecialKRanchCourtesy: Facebook/SpecialKRanch

    The Special K Ranch is being accused of negligence after a Georgia man alleges his developmentally disabled son was raped while at Special K Ranch.  

    The Special K Ranch is being accused of negligence after a Georgia man alleges his developmentally disabled son was raped while at Special K Ranch.  

  • The Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade Is This Saturday!

    The Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade Is This Saturday!

    Photo From Spokane Lilac FestivalPhoto From Spokane Lilac Festival
    KHQ.COM - It's a tradition here in Spokane, the 75th annual Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, and it's this weekend! Here's what you need to know if you plan to attend on Saturday.
    KHQ.COM - It's a tradition here in Spokane, the 75th annual Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, and it's this weekend! Here's what you need to know if you plan to attend on Saturday.
  • Two men missing in Fergus County found alive

    Two men missing in Fergus County found alive

    Friday, May 18 2018 12:52 PM EDT2018-05-18 16:52:53 GMT
    Friday, May 18 2018 12:52 PM EDT2018-05-18 16:52:53 GMT
    Fergus County Disaster and Emergency Service has confirmed two men missing along the Missouri River near Kipp Park have been found alive. Cathy Barta, Fergus County DES Director, says the men had been missing since last night. The men have not been identified but we know one was from Great Falls and the other is from Billings. Petroleum County officials and a helicopter from Malmstrom were called in to assist. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available...
    Fergus County Disaster and Emergency Service has confirmed two men missing along the Missouri River near Kipp Park have been found alive. Cathy Barta, Fergus County DES Director, says the men had been missing since last night. The men have not been identified but we know one was from Great Falls and the other is from Billings. Petroleum County officials and a helicopter from Malmstrom were called in to assist. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available...
  • NewsMore>>

  • Woman attacked by bear

    Woman attacked by bear

    Thursday, May 17 2018 5:49 PM EDT2018-05-17 21:49:33 GMT
    Thursday, May 17 2018 5:53 PM EDT2018-05-17 21:53:18 GMT

    According to a press release from Fish, Wildlife, & Parks, a bear attack has been reported in a remote section of the Cabinet Mountains south of Libby. 

    According to a press release from Fish, Wildlife, & Parks, a bear attack has been reported in a remote section of the Cabinet Mountains south of Libby. 

  • Public meeting to discuss Missoula Co flooding set for Monday

    Public meeting to discuss Missoula Co flooding set for Monday

    Sunday, May 13 2018 2:12 PM EDT2018-05-13 18:12:49 GMT
    Sunday, May 13 2018 2:16 PM EDT2018-05-13 18:16:49 GMT

    According to a Facebook post from Missoula County 9-1-1, there is a public meeting scheduled for 6:00 pm on Monday at Hawthorne Elementary in Orchard Homes to discuss flooding. Hawthorne Elementary is located at 2835 S 3rd Street W in Missoula.

    According to a Facebook post from Missoula County 9-1-1, there is a public meeting scheduled for 6:00 pm on Monday at Hawthorne Elementary in Orchard Homes to discuss flooding. Hawthorne Elementary is located at 2835 S 3rd Street W in Missoula.

  • Flooding plagues Helena mobile home community

    Flooding plagues Helena mobile home community

    Friday, May 11 2018 8:35 PM EDT2018-05-12 00:35:03 GMT
    Friday, May 11 2018 11:14 PM EDT2018-05-12 03:14:57 GMT

    A makeshift levee that was holding back floodwaters at a mobile home park collapsed overnight, opening up the floodgates even more. 

    A makeshift levee that was holding back floodwaters at a mobile home park collapsed overnight, opening up the floodgates even more. 

  • Missouri River fishing access site closed due to high water

    Missouri River fishing access site closed due to high water

    Thursday, May 10 2018 1:18 PM EDT2018-05-10 17:18:24 GMT
    Thursday, May 10 2018 1:18 PM EDT2018-05-10 17:18:24 GMT
    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has closed the Mid Canon Fishing Access Site on the Missouri River about halfway between Helena and Great Falls due to high water. The closure of the FAS just downstream from the mouth of the Dearborn River was prompted by the Missouri River flooding the campground area and latrine.                 Mid Canon FAS will remain closed until the Missouri recedes and the area...
    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has closed the Mid Canon Fishing Access Site on the Missouri River about halfway between Helena and Great Falls due to high water. The closure of the FAS just downstream from the mouth of the Dearborn River was prompted by the Missouri River flooding the campground area and latrine.                 Mid Canon FAS will remain closed until the Missouri recedes and the area...
Powered by Frankly
Copyright - All content © 2001 - 2018. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.