Required Physicals for Athletes

But if passed, it could come at a high cost to some districts.

A year after three Georgia high school athletes died of heart-related complications on the playing field, state officials are trying to do their part to keep similar tragedies from striking again.

"It's tough, no doubt, living in the south with the heat index and humidity and putting all those pads on," says Cairo High Head Athletic Trainer Dwain Dorman.

Georgia is one of only eight states in the nation that recommends, but doesn't require a standard physical for student athletes.

Coaches say under a new bill in the House, a mandatory physical would run extensive checkups on players' hearts, including an EKG and stress tests.

Right now the basic state-recommended physical only costs about $30 per student. Coaches say the new standardized physical could cost upwards of several hundred dollars per student. They say this physical would be more in-depth, but the cost might be out of the question in smaller districts.

Football coaches here say they haven't seen any problems with the current physical.

"It does ask questions about prior history for the mother and father and ask about heart-related illnesses on it so if any of those boxes are checked, we do follow up on those forms,” explains Tom Fallaw, Head Football Coach at Cairo High.

While coaches say a child's life is worth more than any amount of money, for many of their players, football is their life, and if they can't afford a physical, that life will be taken away.

Georgia athletes are required by law to have some sort of physical before they can play, but right now it's up to their coaches to decide the extent.