Get the OK to Play from your physician before the sports season starts.


Visit your Primary Care Physician, Pediatrician, OB/GYN or another primary care provider to have your annual check-up. During this visit, your provider will take care of your routine preventative visit and assess your overall physical, emotional, and behavioral health. This usually includes important discussions to talk about stress, anxiety, depression, and any other issues you might be facing. This visit will also include completion of the necessary OSAA paperwork for sports clearance. Many offices have the OSAA paperwork, but you should take it with you just to be sure.

Generally, annual check-ups are covered by most insurance plans, including the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Check your specific insurance to see if you have a co-pay required.

Sports physicals are a small part of an annual check-up and do not include necessary preventative screenings and conversations about your physical and emotional health. In addition, most clinics charge a separate fee for a sports physical while annual check-ups are generally covered by insurance.

You will need the OSAA approved form titled “School Sports Pre-participation Examination Form.”  The first page needs to be completed by a parent/guardian, and the second page is completed by your provider during your annual visit. This form is then given to the athletic department at your school as part of the sports clearance process.

If you don’t already have a primary care provider, visit our Providers page for links to providers in the OK to Play area. An annual check-up is the ideal way to get established with a new primary care provider!

In recent years, the State of Oregon went through a process to significantly expand healthcare to ensure more citizens had health insurance. This expansion benefited Oregon children by substantially increasing the number of children eligible for the Oregon Health Plan. Between 2013-2018, 54% more children were covered under OHP.

Under the Oregon Health Plan, children are encouraged to have a primary care provider and to seek both well child visits and acute visits from a provider that can assist them as they grow and develop throughout the years. Well child visits are free annually for children on OHP and include the necessary sports physical paperwork.

Call 541-383-3005 to see if you qualify for the Oregon Health Plan and find information on how to get enrolled.

Having a sports physical as a standalone visit with a provider that you don’t usually see has limitations. A sports physical is a screening tool for sports participation, but is not a replacement for an overall health and wellness check-up, which includes preventative health and immunizations, vision and hearing screenings, growth and developmental milestones, and important discussions about stress, anxiety, and depression. For optimal health, teens should have a check-up with a primary care provider each year.

Teens should have a check-up yearly, although it is only required to officially get the Ok to Play every two years. Some school districts require that the Ok to Play visit happen after May 1st to participate in the upcoming school year’s sports. Many insurance companies will pay for an annual check-up visit once every 12 months. In order to make sure an Ok to Play visit is covered by insurance, schedule it after May 1st and 12 months after your last check-up. Summer is the ideal time to have this done because many physician offices have more appointments during summer months when cold and flu season is over.

The Center Foundation has previously provided free sports physicals for students to get cleared to participate in sports. However, healthcare expansion in our community means more kids are covered by OHP and other insurance, and annual check-ups are now covered by most insurance. Therefore, children now get a better standard of care by having an annual check-up, which includes a sport physical and OSAA paperwork, at no additional cost. Better care for kids, lower cost for parents.

The Central Oregon Health Council and The Center Foundation are spearheading a program encouraging teens to see their primary care provider for an annual well child check-up, inclusive of a sports physical, to get the Ok to Play sports.

The Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA) requires students to have a sports physical with paperwork completed by a primary care provider and given to the student’s school athletic department in order to participate in sports, clubs and activities. Often this is the only medical appointment students receive within a two-year period and many pay additional fees to have this completed in a fragmented fashion by someone other than their primary care provider.

CCO Quality Incentive Metrics (QIM) aim to increase Adolescent Well Child Visits as an important part of assessing physical, emotional and social development. Well Child Visits include having conversations with teens to screen for stress, anxiety, emotional well-being, and risk reduction during this critical phase of life.

By encouraging children to have an annual check-up with their primary care provider, teens receive a higher standard of care which is generally covered by insurance, have dedicated time for important conversations during a comprehensive medical appointment, and they receive the necessary paperwork for sports participation.

Success for this program is contingent upon provider participation to ensure appointment availability, and modify Well Child Visits to include a sports physical and necessary paperwork, as well as understanding and utilization of the OK to Play marketing materials and vocabulary.
Schools will use the OK to Play materials and language to promote a consistent message to students, parents and guardians.

This initiative will be supported through a robust marketing program including television, radio, digital ads and mailings to teens, parents and guardians throughout Central Oregon.
For more information on this program, contact Sonja Donohue at The Center Foundation [email protected] or 541.322.2399.