Sport Law Discussion Questions
Concussion Management and Return-To-Play Protocols
On January 30, 2014, the governor of Mississippi signed into law the Mississippi Youth Concussion Act. All 50 states and the District of Columbia now have a sports concussion law in place. Most of the state laws contain three common tenets: 1) any athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion must immediately be removed from play; 2) the athlete may not be returned to action the same day; and 3) the athlete may be returned to action only after written clearance is provided by a licensed health-care professional (the definition of which varies widely from state-to-state).
Some of the state laws contain additional requirements, including mandates that athletics personnel complete an annual concussion education course, that baseline testing be implemented by schools or that student-athletes and parents be provided with concussion education materials and sign a concussion-information form. Administrators and coaches should be familiar with the details of their state’s concussion statute; the full-text of each state law may be accessed through the National Conference of State Legislatures at www.ncsl.org/research/military-and-veterans-affairs/traumatic-brain-injury-legislation.aspx.