Concussions in Youth Athletes - Virginia
Governor McDonnell signed SB 652 into law on April 11, 2010. The law went into effect on July 1, 2011. This law can be found at section 22.1-271.5 of the Virginia Code, under the title dealing with education and the chapter dealing with pupils. (Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-271.5).
This law requires that the Board of Education develop and distribute guidelines and policies on concussion to each school division. Each school division must develop policies and procedures for the handling of suspected concussions in student athletes. To be eligible to participate in an extracurricular physical activity, the student and parent/guardian must annually review concussion information and both must sign an acknowledgement form. Any student suspected of sustaining a concussion must be removed from the activity at that time and may not return until evaluated by a licensed health care provider and given written clearance.
The official version of this section is currently available online at:
There are a number of bills pending in the Virginia Legislature to amend the current law.
SB 1252 was introduced January 9, 2013 and referred to committee on February 21, 2013. As proposed, this bill would require non-interscholastic youth sports programs using public school property to establish policies and procedures based on school’s or the Department of Education’s guidelines regarding identifying and handling suspect concussions in student athletes.
The text of SB 1252 can be viewed online at:
SB 1326 was introduced on January 18, 2013 and referred to committee. This bill would require the Board of Education to develop and distribute to local school districts guidelines for policies limiting the amount of contact experienced by student athletes playing contact sports. Each local school district would be required to develop the same policies and procedures and would also be required to limit the amount of contact practices on a weekly basis for student athletes playing football.
The text of SB 1326 can be viewed online at:
HB 1719 was pre-filed on January 9, 2013 and referred to committee on January 18, 2013. The proposed legislation would required the Board of Education to provide guidelines to each local school district and each local youth sports organization for the development of a concussion education, awareness and management plan to include training for coaches, information and consent forms for parents and student athletes, procedure to follow in the event of a suspected concussion and return to play protocol.
The text of HB 1719 can be viewed online at:
HB 1782 was pre-filed on January 8, 2013 and sent to committee. The bill would require local school divisions to provide to organizations sponsoring athletic activity of student athletes on school property the Board of Education’s guidelines regarding concussions.
The text of HB 1782 can be viewed online at: