Sickle Cell Trait

Athletic Trainers tend to an injured football player.

The NCAA requires mandatory confirmation of sickle cell trait status in Division III student athletes. Sickle cell trait is an inherited blood disorder that occurs when a person only carries one gene that causes abnormal hemoglobin, as opposed to the two genes involved in patients with sickle cell disease. Those with sickle cell trait normally do not experience adverse events, but can experience severe reactions, including sudden death, when severely dehydrated or during intense physical activity. 

Sickle Cell Trait Info Sheet | Video

Documentation (recommended): The student-athlete may provide documented results of a sickle cell solubility test administered before participation;

The California Newborn Screening Program (NBS) has been screening all newborns for sickle cell disease since February 27,1990. The testing also detects healthy babies with sickle cell trait and some other hemoglobin traits. If you were born in California after that date, you can request a copy of your results from the California Newborn Screening Program, your pediatrician, or the hospital where you were born. 

Other states may have similar programs. Please check with your state government or pediatrician for more information.

Pending documentation: A student-athlete who has taken a sickle cell solubility test but whose results are not yet confirmed may participate provided the student-athlete engages in mandatory education*, signs a waiver and receives appropriate precautions as set forth by the institution.

Opt-out (not recommended): The student-athlete may sign a waiver declining confirmation of sickle cell trait status. Before signing a waiver, the student-athlete shall be provided education regarding the implications of exercising the waiver option. Before athletics participation, a student-athlete who signs a waiver under this provision shall engage in mandatory education* regarding sickle cell trait status and receive accommodations as determined by the institution.

*mandatory education – Student Athletes wishing to opt out or with documentation pending must view the Sickle Cell Education Module at upon successful completion save a copy of the  certificate of completion you need to upload it AND the signed (original signatures are required) sickle cell waiver – available here -  to SWOL.  Please scan and upload both the waiver and certificate of completion as a single pdf to SWOL labeled sickle cell waiver.