New rule changes for concussions in high school football players
New rule changes have been made by the National Federation of State High School Associations on how concussions are to be treated by coaches.
At an offseason Football Rules Committee meeting, the national high school athletics governing body adopted a rule requiring players showing symptoms of a concussion to be removed from competition until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.
The rule, will require a medical doctor to clear players displaying symptoms before returning to play. However, the association remains undecided on penalties for breaking the rule.
Coaches are also required to take online concussion awareness training, and at least one representative from each school in the state must attend a mandatory medical advisory meeting in July.
Previously, the rule regarding concussions simply directed officials to remove an athlete from play if he was “unconscious or apparently unconscious.” Now officials are required to remove a player who shows signs of a concussion, such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems.
There is no need to be rendered unconscious in order to have sustained a concussion and the rule change reflects modern medical understanding of concussions.
The rules however do not go far enough. There still must be mandated base line testing at the beginning of the season and mandated retesting before players can return following a concussion or a suspected concussion. The risks of further injury are just too great, not to take these important measures to insure the safety of players.
Remember, WHEN IN DOUBT, KEEP THEM OUT!