Late last year, the Late last year, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 143, designed to protect youth at all levels from concussions. While OPRA was successful in making changes to the bill as it moved through the legislative process, there are requirements which all youth sports organizations must meet. The Ohio Department of Health has now completed the forms necessary to fulfill those requirements and those forms can be accessed at www.cdc.gov
In short the requirements fall into three general categories.
1. Concussion Information Sheet
The youth sports concussion information sheet can be found by going to www.cdc.gov This sheet should be distributed to all youth sports parents—either a printed or online version—for all sports which occur after April 26. 2013.
2. Coach and Official Training
Youth sports coaches and officials must complete a free online concussion training every three years. ODH is recommending the training provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations. The training is free and can be accessed at www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/online_training.html
3. Return to Play
The law does include return to play requirements which are briefly outlined below.
Coaches, referees, or officials must remove an athlete from play if the athlete is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of a concussion during practice or a game. These include:
· Appears dazed or stunned.
· Is confused about assignment or position.
· Forgets plays.
· Is unsure of game, score or opponent.
· Moves clumsily.
· Answers questions slowly.
· Loses consciousness (even briefly).
· Shows behavior or personality changes (irritability, sadness, nervousness, feeling more emotional).
· Can’t recall events before or after hit or fall.
· Any headache or “pressure” in head. (How badly it hurts does not matter.)
· Nausea or vomiting.
· Balance problems or dizziness.
· Double or blurry vision.
· Sensitivity to light and/or noise
· Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy.
· Concentration or memory problems.
· Does not “feel right.”
· Trouble falling asleep.
· Sleeping more or less than usual.
The athlete cannot return to play on the same day that the player is removed and is not permitted to return to play until they have been assessed and received written clearance by a physician (MD or DO) or by any other licensed health care provider approved by the youth sports organization.
You can access a frequently asked question document on the return to play requirements here.
Thank you for the efforts you continue to make to provide Ohio youth with opportunities to participate in sports and for your continued efforts to provide maximum protection to all the youth you serve. While OPRA was successful in making changes to the bill as it moved through the legislative process, there are requirements which all youth sports organizations must meet.
Thank you for the efforts you continue to make to provide Ohio youth with opportunities to participate in sports and for your continued efforts to provide maximum protection to all the youth you serve.