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Home » Football News

Concussion Bill Would Follow IHSAA's Lead

January 14, 2011
Missouri Football Coaches Association



Published 1/5/2011 IndyStar.com by Nat Newell

Legislation has been introduced in the Indiana Senate that would provide legal requirements for the treatment of head injuries at high school athletic events. The protocols follow the requirements already instituted by the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

"The proposal in its current form is both acceptable and welcomed by the (Indiana High School Athletic) Association," said Bobby Cox, who will take over as IHSAA commissioner Feb. 1. "The law further emphasizes the importance of monitoring concussions, but it doesn't change what we're doing."


Schools would be required to educate coaches, athletes and parents about concussions, and parents would be required to return an acknowledgment form each year prior to practice. Any athlete suspected of sustaining a head injury or concussion must be removed from play and can't return until cleared by a licensed health official.


In addition, volunteer health care providers who do evaluations will have immunity from civil liability, except for gross negligence or willful misconduct.

"The legislation is going to be very good," said Dr. Todd Arnold of the Athletes' Concussion Alliance, which works with approximately 120 schools around the state. "The IHSAA has been in the forefront of concussion treatment. This will serve as a great educational tool that everyone is responsible -- not just the trainer on the sideline -- for taking ownership (of this issue)."


The legislation was introduced by Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, at the request of Dr. Joe O'Neil, a neurodevelopmental pediatrician with Riley Hospital for Children. O'Neil, the American College of Sports Medicine, NFL, IHSAA and USA Football consulted on the legislation, which is similar to laws in more than a dozen states. The legislation could be enacted by late April.


O'Neil would like to see the legislation extended to all children in organized sports, but Holdman said he believes there will be a trickle down effect to other organizations.


Call Star reporter Nat Newell at (317) 444-6182.


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