Seth Polansky
Sports Information Coordinator

Theatre, speech and debate added as tracks to “Understanding Copyright and Compliance” course in NFHS Learning Center

June 6, 2019 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 6, 2019) — Theatre directors and speech and debate coaches can now take advantage of two new tracks in “Understanding Copyright and Compliance,” an online education course available through the NFHS Learning Center at

“Understanding Copyright and Compliance” explains what copyright means and when there may be exceptions. The course discusses topics including fair use, when a piece of music might be in the public domain and copyright infringement penalties.

“Copyright is a critically important topic for state associations and schools,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services. “The legal implications involved can be very serious if there is a violation.”

“For decades, educators have made assumptions on what it means to be copyright complaint,” said Dr. James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports. “For the first time, they now have a tool that is easy to use and understand to assist them in being copyright compliant.

In additional to the new tracks for theatre directors and speech and debate coaches, the course, available free of charge, also includes tracks tailored to the specific needs of music teachers, spirit coaches and school administrators.

“We’ve had success with three tracks and felt the need to expand to other areas where copyright could be an issue,” Schuster said. “Similar to what we have done in our health and safety courses, we are always looking to enhance our educational opportunities wherever possible.”

For speech and debate coaches, the course includes 10 main units including topics like “Public Domain, Rental and Out-of-Print,” “Performances and Exemptions,” “Streaming Rights” and “Festivals and Contests.” Theatre directors can take advantage of an 11-unit package with topic examples as “Arrangements, Copies and Recordings,” “Dramatic Rights” and “Mashups and Cover Music.”

After starting with two courses – Fundamentals of Coaching and First Aid for Coaches – in 2007 through the NFHS Coach Education Program, the NFHS Learning Center now offers 68 online courses – 33 of which are free – and has expanded its reach to contest officials, students, music adjudicators, and speech, debate and theatre educators.

“We look to take important topics and create awareness of them,” Schuster said. “These programs help better the educational experience for coaches and their students.”

Since the launch of in 2007, the NFHS has delivered more than 8.5 million courses.

This press release was written by Luke Modrovsky, a 2019 summer intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department. He is a senior sports management and communication studies major at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.


About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at

Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations

Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
Assistant Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations