Medical certificate for sport: when is it compulsory?


FOCUS- Depending on whether you are an adult or not, the situation is very different. Overall, procedures have been significantly streamlined in recent years. How long is it valid? Should we have one for school practice? Le Figaro make the point.

Back-to-school time is often the time to make good resolutions. Doing more sport is one. But this momentum is also accompanied by administrative constraints. In the club, at school or at the gym, the medical certificate is one of the documents we are frequently asked to provide. But is it really mandatory? How to get it? How long is it valid? Who can deliver it? Le Figaro make the point.

Who can issue a medical certificate to play sports?

A medical certificate of absence of contraindication to the practice of sport, or “CACI” in administrative jargon, is a document issued by a doctor (general practitioner, sports doctor or occupational doctor). The objective is to ensure that you do not present any mental or physical health problem which would put you in danger by practicing the sport concerned.

Your practitioner will need to perform a physical examination before delivery. For this reason, it is not possible to obtain a certificate for sport within the framework of a teleconsultation.

Is the sports medical certificate free?

It is not necessarily very well known (or respected…) but the medical consultation carried out to obtain a CACI is not supported by Social Security. In theory, the doctor should therefore not pass your vital card and you should pay for the consultation in its entirety.

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When is the medical certificate compulsory?

To find out whether or not you need to present a sports certificate and find out how long it is valid for, the Ministry of Sports offers an online simulator. However, there are a few key principles.

For adults, the medical certificate of non-contraindication to sports practice is compulsory to obtain or renew a sports license in a club or an association affiliated with a sports federation (you can find the list of federations on the ministry’s website ). This concerns both leisure activities and competitions carried out within the structure.

On the other hand, the certificate is optional if you wish to join a club, an event organized by a town hall or an association not attached to a sports federation. For example if you want to participate in a marathon. In this case, you are not legally required to provide a CACI. However, the structure and the organizers are entitled to claim it from you if their internal regulations require it.

How long is the medical certificate valid for?

Whether for leisure or competition practice, the certificate is valid 3 years provided you complete a medical questionnaire each year when you renew your licence.

To participate in a competition on an ad hoc basis, there is no need to obtain a specific certificate. All you have to do is present a certificate of non-contraindication dated less than a year ago (on the date of registration).

And for the children?

Since December 2020, young people no longer need to provide a medical certificate to join a club or association, regardless of the context. This was one of the provisions of the “law for the acceleration and simplification of public action” which came into force on December 7, 2020.

The certificate has since been replaced by a health quiz aimed at determining the physical and mental state of the child (decree no. 2021-564 of 7 May 2021). This questionnaire includes 24 questions to be completed by the young person himself with the help of his parents:

  • “Did you feel dizzy during an effort?”
  • “Have you had a lot of trouble breathing after exertion?”
  • “Do you feel sad or worried?”
  • “Have you stopped sport because of a health problem for a month or more?”, etc.

You can find the health questionnaire on the official government website. If no answer points to a possible contraindication, only a certificate of information from the questionnaire then makes it possible to join a club, an association or a sports competition.

If one of the answers leaves a doubt, the child must then consult a doctor to draw up a medical certificate attesting to the absence of contraindications to sports practice. In this case, the document must be less than 6 months old on the day of the license application or renewal.

Do we have to provide a medical certificate for school sports?

To take compulsory PE courses at school, college or high school, the school no longer has the right to require a certificate of absence of contraindication since 2016 and the entry into force of the health system modernization law.

There is also no need for a certificate to practice optional sports activities within a school federation such as the National Union of School Sports (UNSS), the Educational Sports Federation of Catholic Education (UGSEL) or even of the Sports Union for Primary Education (USEP).

On the other hand, if a student wishes to be exempted from PE lessons, the school will have the right to claim a medical certificate of total or partial incapacity to the practice of sports in a completely legal way.

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Compulsory medical certificates for sports with special constraints

Whether you are an adult or a minor, you will be legally obliged to provide a certificate of absence of contraindication to practice certain disciplines called “with particular constraints”, both for obtaining and renewing your license.

The following disciplines are concerned:

  • mountaineering
  • Underwater diving
  • Speleology
  • Sports, practiced in competition, for which the fight can end by KO (English boxing, kick boxing, savate, …)
  • Sports involving the use of firearms or compressed air (shooting, clay pigeon shooting, biathlon)
  • Sports, practiced in competition, involving the use of vehicles, with the exception of radio-controlled model cars (car sports, karting and motorcycling)
  • Aeronautical sports practiced in competition, with the exception of model aircraft (aerobatics, gliding, free flight, etc.)
  • Parachuting
  • Rugby (XV, XIII or VII)

” READ ALSO – Medical certificate: examinations required for high-risk sports

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