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Concussions in Youth Athletes - Illinois

Illinois

The Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act became effective on August 3, 2015 and is found at 410 ILCS 145/1, et seq. under the Illinois Public Health Law at the section dealing with Health Prevention and Protection.

Under the Act “Sponsored youth sports activity” means any athletic activity, including practice or competition, for players under the direction of a coach, athletic director, or band leader of a youth sports league, including, but not limited to, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country track, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, marching band, rugby, soccer, skating, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track (indoor and outdoor), ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, water polo, wrestling, and any other sport offered by a youth sports league. A sponsored youth sports activity does not include an interscholastic athletic activity as that term is defined in Section 22-80 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/22-80]. 410 ILCS 145/5.

This Act applies to any sponsored youth sports activity sponsored or sanctioned by a youth sports league beginning or continuing after January 1, 2016 and is not applicable to interscholastic athletic activity, which is defined in the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS5/22-80). 410 ILCS 145/10.

The law defines Player and Youth sports league, respectively, as follows:

“Player” means an adolescent or child participating in any sponsored youth sports activity of a youth sports league. 410 ILCS 145/5.

“Youth sports league” means any incorporated or unincorporated, for-profit or not-for-profit entity that organizes and provides sponsored youth sports activities, including, but not limited to, any athletic association, organization, or federation in this State that is owned, operated, sanctioned, or sponsored by a unit of local government or that is owned, operated, sanctioned, or sponsored by a private person or entity, as well as any amateur athletic organization or qualified amateur sports organization in this State under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) or Sec. 501(j)). 410 ILCS 145/5.

Section 410 ILCS 145/15 provided in relevant part that:

Each youth sports league with players who participate in any youth-sponsored sports activity sponsored or sanctioned by the youth sports league is encouraged to make available, electronically or in writing, to coaches, game officials, and players, as well as the parents/ guardians, and other persons with legal authority to make medical decisions, educational materials that describe the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries, including the advisability of removal of players that exhibit signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion, such as a loss of consciousness, a headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems, from participating in a youth-sponsored sports activity sponsored or sanctioned by the youth sports league.

Any park district is authorized and encouraged to make available to residents and users of park district facilities including a youth athletic program education materials with regard to the nature and risks of concussions and is subject to and shall comply with the requirements of the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act if the park district is directly responsible for organizing and providing a sponsored youth sports activity as a youth sports league by registering the players and selecting the coaches, as those terms are defined in the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act [410 ILCS 145/1 et seq.]. 70 ILCS 1205/8-24.

Former sections 105 ILCS 5/10-20.54 and 105 ILCS 5/34-18.46 pertaining to student athletes were repealed effective August 3, 2015. The Illinois Law regarding concussions as related to interscholastic athletic activity can be found at 105 ILCS 5/22-80 of the Illinois School Code and 105 ILCS 25/1.15 of the Interscholastic Athletic Organization Act.

The official versions of Sections 410 ILCS 145/1 et seq. can be viewed online at:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3652&ChapterID=35

The official version of 70 ILCS 1205/8-24 can be viewed online at:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=007012050HArt%2E+8&ActID=892&ChapterID=15&SeqStart=10200000&SeqEnd=14200000

(ctrl F search concussion).

105 ILCS 5/22-80 of the Illinois School Code and 105 ILCS 25/1.15 of the Interscholastic Athletic Organization Act can be viewed online at:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/010500050K22-80.htm

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1009&ChapterID=17

The following websites offer additional information regarding Illinois concussion laws:

http://www.ilparks.org/?page=Practice_Tools#Concussion

(search concussion)

http://ihsa.org/default.aspx

(search concussion)