2010 -- H 7036 SUBSTITUTE A AS AMENDED
A N A C T
RELATING TO EDUCATION
Introduced By: Representatives Gallison, McNamara, A Rice, Martin, and Azzinaro
Date Introduced: January 07, 2010
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Title 16 of the General Laws entitled "EDUCATION" is hereby amended
by adding thereto the following chapter:
SCHOOL AND YOUTH PROGRAMS CONCUSSION ACT
16-91-1. Findings of fact. -- The general assembly hereby finds and declares: (1)
Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who
participate in sports and recreational activities. A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the
head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The risk of catastrophic
injuries or death is significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and
(2) Concussions are a type of brain injury that can range from mild to severe and can
disrupt the way the brain normally works. Concussions can occur in any organized or
unorganized sport or recreational activity and can result from a fall or from players colliding with
each other, the ground, or with obstacles. Concussions occur with or without loss of
consciousness, but the vast majority occurs without loss of consciousness.
(3) Continuing to play with a concussion or symptoms of a head injury leaves the young
athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury and even death. The general assembly also
recognizes that, despite having generally recognized return to play standards for concussion and
head injury, some affected youth athletes are prematurely returned to play resulting in actual or
potential physical injury or death to youth athletes in the
(4) Concussions can occur in any sport or recreational activity. All coaches, parents, and
athletes shall be advised of the signs and symptoms of concussions as well as the protocol for
16-91-2. Definitions. -- (a) For the purpose of this section, the term "youth sports
programs" means any program organized for recreational and/or athletic competition purposes by
any school district or by any school participating in
Competition, and whose participants are nineteen (19) years of age or younger.
16-91-3. School district’s guidelines to be developed and implemented. -- (a) The
department of education and the department of health shall work
in concert with the
interscholastic league to develop and promulgate guidelines to inform and educate coaches, youth
athletes, and their parents and/or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury
including continuing to play after concussion or head injury. A concussion and head injury
information sheet shall be signed and returned by the youth athlete and the athlete’s parent and/or
guardian prior to the youth athlete’s return to practice or competition.
(b) School districts are required to use training materials made available by the United
School Sports/Concussion in Youth Sports" and any updates or amendments thereto, or training
materials substantively and substantially similar thereto. The department of education shall post
training materials made available by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on its
website. All coaches, trainers, and volunteers involved in a youth sport or activity covered by this
chapter must complete a training course in concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Training may
consist of videos, classes, and any other generally accepted mode and medium of providing
(c) School districts are encouraged to have all student athletes baseline or "impact" tested
prior to the start of every sport season. Parents and/or guardians shall be provided with
information as to the risk of concussion and/or traumatic brain injuries prior to the start of every
sport season and they shall sign an acknowledgement as to their receipt of such information.
(d) A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a
practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time.
(e) A youth athlete, who has been removed from play, may not return to play until the
athlete is evaluated by a licensed physician and until the athlete receives written clearance to
return to play from that licensed physician.
(f) All school districts are encouraged to have an athletic trainer or similarly trained
person at all recreational and athletic events addressed by this statute.
16-91-4. All other youth sports program. – All other youth sports programs not
specifically addressed by this statute are encouraged to follow the guidance set forth in this
statute for all program participants who are age nineteen (19) and younger.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.