Concussions in Youth Athletes - Oregon
The Oregon law is found at Sections 336.485 of the Oregon Revised Statutes Annotated, under the education and culture title and the chapter on extracurricular sports. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 336.485) and 417.485 (Or. Rev. Stat. § 417.485) is found in Oregon Revised Statutes Annotated under the Human Services chapter and is titled Youth Athletics; Concussion Symptom and Treatment Training for Coaches and Referees; Restrictions on Athlete Participation Following Concussion (Or. Rev. Stat. §417.875).
§ 336.485 requires that each school district ensure coaches receive annual concussion training. It also requires that each school board establish rules on the requirements of this training. Furthermore, it states that coaches may not allow students suspected of sustaining concussions to participate in any athletic event or training on the same day that a member of a school athletic team exhibits signs/symptoms of a concussion or has been diagnosed with a concussion. A coach may allow a student to participate once they no longer exhibit symptoms of a concussion and have received a medical release form from a health care professional. A coach may allow a member of a school athletic team to participate at any time after a registered athletic trainer determines that a concussion did not occur.
§ 417.875 defines “league governing body” as an association of non-school athletic teams that provide instruction and training for team members and may compete with one another and who are affiliated, sponsored, or organized by a nonprofit corporation established as provided by Oregon Law and defines “non-school athletic team” as an athletic team having members who are under eighteen (18) years of age and not affiliated with an Oregon public school. The act also defines referee and referee governing body. The law requires that each league and referee governing body adopt policies establishing training requirements and procedures and that coaches and referees shall receive annual training regarding recognizing and obtaining proper treatment for individuals suspected of sustaining a concussion. A coach may not permit a non-school team member to return to play on the same day, if concussion symptoms are present subsequent to an observed or suspected blow to the head or if diagnosed with a concussion until the member no longer exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion and after receiving a medical release from a health care professional. Both sections of the Oregon law define health care professional. Section 417.875 also provides that a coach may allow a non-school athletic team member to return to play at any time after a determination by a registered athletic trainer that team member did not sustain a concussion. The league governing body is required to develop guidelines and other material to facilitate informing non-school athletic team members, parents and coaches about the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Each year prior to participation, a parent of an individual under 12 years and a parent and the individual if twelve (12) years of age or older must acknowledge receipt of the concussion information and materials. A league governing body may hold an informal meeting prior to the commencement of the season. Any person regularly serving as a coach or referee who complies with the statute is immune from liability absent gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
The text of §336.485 and §417.875 can be viewed online at:
https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/Pages/ORS.aspx (on the right hand side of the page “Search the ORS” for concussion and then click on Chapter 336 or Chapter 417).
The following websites offer additional information regarding Oregon concussion law:
http://www.osaa.org/governance/handbooks/osaa (scroll down to Concussion Management)