Concussions in Youth Athletes - Oregon
Governor Kulongowski signed SB 348 into law on June 18, 2009. This law can be found at section 336.485 of the Oregon Code, under the education and culture title and the chapter on extracurricular sports. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 336.485). On February 26, 2013, SB 721 was introduced. This legislation was signed by the governor on June 24, 2013 and becomes effective on January 1, 2014. The existing law 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 an activity. A coach may allow a student to participate once they no longer exhibit symptoms of a concussion and have been cleared by a medical professional.
The new law defines “league governing body” as an association of nonschool 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 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 establish training requirements and procedures and coaches and referees shall receive annual training regarding recognition and obtaining proper treatment for individuals suspected of sustaining a concussion. A coach or a referee may not permit a nonschool team member to return to play if concussion symptoms are present subsequent to an observed or suspected blow to the head or if diagnosed with a concussion. The league governing body is required to develop guidelines and other material to facilitate informing nonschool 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 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 is currently available online at:
https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/lawsstatutes/2011ors336.html (control /f 336.485).
The text of SB 721 can be viewed online at:
Currently there is no pending legislation to amend or repeal the current statute in Oregon.