Concussions in Youth Athletes - Illinois
The Illinois law is located at sections 70-1205/8-24 and 105/34-18.46) and 105/5/10-20.54, under the chapters and sections dealing with park districts, schools and school boards. (70 Ill. Comp. Stat. 1205/8-24 and 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/34-18.46 and 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/10-20.54).
Illinois law provides that the Act applies to all school and park districts within the state that operate or sponsor athletic programs or extracurricular activities. It requires the State Board of Education and Park Districts to develop guidelines on policies to inform and educate coaches and athletes and the athlete’s parents/guardians of the nature and risks of concussions, criteria for removal from and return to play, and the risks of not reporting the injury and continuing to play. It also provides that school boards are required to adopt policies on concussions, and that these policies must be included in the agreements signed by parents/guardians before a student participates in practice or interscholastic competition. The Illinois High School Association is to make materials on concussions available to all school districts. Park districts are authorized and encouraged to make available to residents and park district facility users including youth athletic programs education materials describing the nature and risks of concussion and head injuries. Such educational materials may include information from the Illinois High School Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control or other comparable materials.
Effective August 19, 2014, Section 1.15 was added to 105 ILCS (the Interscholastic Athletic Organization Act) and provides for mandatory concussion certification for all high school head and assistant coaches and athletic directors (“AD”). New coaches and AD’s must be certified prior starting their positions and those occupying those positions will have one year from the effective date of this legislation to obtain the certification and are required to renew certifications every 2 years by demonstration proficiency on a test developed by the association or other entity who has as one its purposes the promoting, sponsoring, regulating or providing in any manner for interscholastic athletics. High school coaches and AD’s shall encourage coaches of youth sports organizations to consider the certification.
The official version of these sections is currently available online at:
The following websites offer additional information regarding Illinois concussion law: