All 50 states in the US have concussion legislation, but not all of those legislations extend past school athletics. The 9 states with legislation that does affect youth sports are California, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.
If your state is one of these 9, you may want to know what is and isn’t required. We went through the concussion legislation in each state (so you don’t have to) and pulled out what you need to know.
Overall, there are four main points for organizations. The fifth, compliance systems, is only required in a couple states.
- Information distribution – Orgs are required to provide information on head trauma causes, signs, symptoms, and how to handle them. Sometimes the org simply needs to provide the info on a website, and sometimes they must garner signatures before athletes participate.
- Coach education – Most states require some form of coach training on concussion symptom identifications and protocols.
- Removal from play -When symptoms are spotted, removal from play is required in all states, but it varies as to how law requires communication to parents and guardians.
- Return to play – Most states require written permission from a qualified health care professional, but the details vary.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the states, including language pulled directly from the law itself. Contact [email protected] for more information!
“This bill would apply these provisions to athletes participating in youth sports organizations, as defined to include organizations, businesses, nonprofit entities, or local governmental agencies that sponsor or conduct amateur sports competitions, training, camps, or clubs in which persons 17 years of age or younger participate in any of 27 designated sports. The bill would require youth sports organizations to notify the parents or guardians of athletes 17 years of age or younger who have been removed from athletic activities due to suspected concussions, as specified.”
- Information Sheet – Signed, annually, to athlete, and if 17 or younger, by guardian as well
- Coach Training – Provided annually, completed at least once
- Removed from Play – May not return for remainder of day, parent notification of symptoms, date/time, and treatment
- Return to Play – written clearance from ‘licensed healthcare provider’, and if diagnosed, graduated return to play of at least 7 days.
- Compliance – identify procedures to ensure compliance with info sheet, training courses, and return to play
“‘Youth athletic activity’ means an organized athletic activity where 22 of the participants are seven years of age or older and 23 are under nineteen years of age, and are engaging in an organized athletic game or 24 competition against another team, club, or entity or in practice or preparation 25 for an organized game or competition against another team, club, or entity.”
- Information Sheet – Provide to coaches, officials, volunteers, youth athletes, and their parents 21 or legal guardian which informs of the nature and risk of concussion and head 22 injury, including the risks associated with continuing to play after a concussion 23 or head injury. Signed annually by youth athlete and guardians
- Coach Training – Annual course completed
- Removed from Play – Notify parent and don’t permit to return to play without written permission from health care provider
- Return to Play – Written permission from health care provider for Full or graduated return to play
“(a) Consistent with section 121A.38, any municipality, business, or nonprofit organization that organizes a youth athletic activity for which an activity fee is charged shall:”
- Information Sheet – provide
- Coach Training – once every three years
- Removed from Play – suspected concussion
- Return to Play – evaluated and given written clearance from ‘provider trained and experienced in evaluating and managing concussions’ to participate in the sport
“Any city, village, business, or nonprofit organization that organizes an athletic activity in which the athletes are nineteen years of age or younger and are required to pay a fee to participate in the athletic activity or whose cost to participate in the athletic activity is sponsored by a business or nonprofit organization shall:”
- Information Sheet – provide
- Coach Training – none
- Removed from Play – guardian notification of the date and approximate time of the injury suffered by the athlete, the signs and symptoms of a concussion or brain injury that were observed, and any actions taken to treat the athlete.
- Return to Play – been evaluated by licensed health care professional and given written clearance by licensed health care professional, and written clearance is submitted to org
“Each organization for youth sports that sanctions or sponsors competitive sports for youths in this State shall adopt a policy concerning the prevention and treatment of injuries to the head which may occur during a youth’s participation in those competitive sports, including, without limitation, a concussion of the brain”
- Information Sheet – provided, Must sign a statement on a form prescribed by the organization for youth sports acknowledging that the youth and his or her parent or legal guardian have read and understand the terms and conditions of the policy.
- Coach Training – None specified
- Removed from Play – none additional
- Return to Play – parent or legal guardian of the youth provides a signed statement of a provider of health care indicating that the youth is medically cleared for participation in the competitive sport and the date on which the youth may return to the competitive sport.
“A youth sports organization”
- Information Sheet – Annual, provided
- Coach Training – every three years
- Removed from Play – nothing special
- Return to Play – not until written clearance from physician or licensed health care professional who assessed the individual’s condition.
“‘Community-based youth athletic activity’ or ‘youth athletic activity’ means an athletic activity organized by a city, county, business or nonprofit organization where the majority of the participants are under eighteen (18) years of age, and are engaging in an organized athletic game or competition against another team, club or entity or in practice or preparation for an organized game or competition against another team, club or entity.”
- Information Sheet – provided, signed consent from athlete and guardian, and coach, and Maintain all documentation of the completion of a concussion recognition and head injury safety education course program and signed concussion and head injury information sheets for a period of three (3) years;
- Coach Training – Annual
- Removed from Play – usual
- Return to Play – receives written clearance from the health care provider for a full or graduated return to play. Does not apply if legitimate other explanation signs symptoms and behavior observed
“‘Amateur sports organization’ means… a sports team; a public or private school; a public or private sports league; a public or private sports camp; or any other public or private organization that organizes, operates, manages, or sponsors a sporting event for its members, enrollees, or attendees.”
- Information Sheet – provide a written copy, obtain the signature of a parent or legal guardian of the child
- Coach Training – none specified
- Removed from Play – normal
- Return to Play – evaluated by a qualified health care provider and a written statement from the health care provider stating that the provider has within three years and that the child is cleared to resume participation in the sporting event of the amateur sports organization.
“‘Youth athletic activity’ means an organized athletic activity in which the participants, a majority of whom are under 19 years of age, are engaged in an athletic game or competition against another team, club, or entity, or in practice or preparation for an organized athletic game or competition against another team, club, or entity. “Youth athletic activity” does not include a college or university activity or an activity that is incidental to a non-athletic program.”
- Information Sheet – No person may participate in a youth athletic activity unless the person returns the information sheet signed by the person and, if he or she is under the age of 19, by his or her parent or guaardian. Signed info sheet by athlete and guardian
- Coach Training – none specified
- Removed from Play – regular
- Return to Play – written clearance from the health care provider