Concussions in Youth Athletes - Virginia
The Virginia 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).
Virginia 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 2014 amendments now define a non-interscholastic youth sports program as a program organized for competition or recreational athletic instruction for youth. In addition, a non-interscholastic youth program utilizing public school property is required to establish policies and procedures for identifying and managing concussions consistent with those protocols above or follow the guidelines established by the Board of Education.
Also of note is that H 1096 (Chapter 349), which was introduced on January 9, 2014, signed into law March 27, 2014, and became effective July 1, 2014, requires the Board of Education to amend its guidelines related to concussions in student athletes to include a “Return to Learn Protocol” and is codified at §22.1-271.6 and is titled School Division Policies and Procedures on Concussions in Student-Athletes.
§22.1-271.5, which does not reflect recent amendments at this time, is available online at:
SB 173 (Chapter 746) is available online at:
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+sum+SB172 (click on Text or History links for additional information)
HB 410 (Chapter 760) is available online at:
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+sum+HB410 (click on Text or History links for additional information)
§§22.1-271.6 is not available online; however, H 1096 (Chapter 349) is available online at:
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+sum+HB1096 (click on Text or History links for additional information)