Concussions in Youth Athletes - Florida
The Florida law is found at Florida Statutes Annotated (F.S.A.), Title XLVIII, Section 1006.20(2)(j), (k), (l), and (m). under the K-20 Florida Education Code. Section 1006.20 is titled Athletics in public K-12 Schools.
The Florida law requires the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) adopt guidelines to educate coaches, officials, administrators and student athletes and their parents about the nature and risk of concussion and head injury, to adopt policies requiring a candidate for an interscholastic athletic team to sign and return an informed consent annually prior to participation, to develop guidelines providing for the immediate removal of student suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury and prohibiting return to practice or competition until a written medical clearance has been received from an appropriate health care provider.
There is another Florida law, which is found under chapters outlining Criminal Procedures and Corrections at F.S.A. relating to concussions. Title XLVII, Section 943.0438 titled Athletic Coaches for Independent Sanctioning Authorities (“ISA”), which in part requires background screening of each current and prospective coach of an independent sanctioning authority. The statute defines an “ISA” as a private, non-governmental entity that organizes, operates, or co-ordinates a youth athletic team in the state if the team includes one or more minors and is not affiliated with a private school. The statute also defines athletic coach as someone who is authorized by an ISA to work as a coach, assistant coach or referee for 20 or more hours within a calendar year, whether for compensation or on a voluntary basis for an athletic team in the State of Florida and having contact with one or more minors on the youth athletic team. The law also provides that an “ISA” maintain documentation of all background screenings for a minimum period of at least five (5) years. An “ISA” shall develop guidelines to educate athletic coaches, officials, administrators and youth athletes and their parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury, adopt policies requiring the parent or guardian to sign an informed consent annually prior to any participation by the youth athlete and requiring immediate removal of a youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury from any activity and prohibit a return to play or practice until a medical clearance is received from an appropriate health care practitioner.
The official versions of the Florida Statutes are available online at:
The following website offers additional information regarding Florida concussion law:http://www.fhsaa.org/departments/health