Concussions in Youth Athletes - Wisconsin
The Wisconsin law called the “Sidelined for Safety Act” is found at Section 118.293 of the Wisconsin Statutes (W.S.A. Section 118.293). This law is under the Public Instruction statutes and General School Operations.
The Wisconsin law requires the Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Association to develop guidelines to inform and educate pupil athletes, their parents or guardians, and coaches of the nature and risk of concussion in youth athletic activities. The statute defines “youth athletic activity” as an organized athletic activity in which participants a majority of whom are under nineteen (19) years of age, are engaged in an athletic game or competition or in a practice or preparation for an organized athletic game or competition against another team, club, or entity. Youth athletic activity does not include college or university activity or an activity that is incidental to a nonathletic program. It requires a person operating a youth athletic league to distribute a concussion and head injury information sheet annually to each coach and to each participating athlete. The information sheet for each youth athlete shall be signed by a parent or guardian and returned prior to participation. A private club is not required to distribute an information sheet to a person who wishes to participate in a youth athletic activity, if the person has returned an appropriate signed information sheet to the club within the previously 365 days. Likewise, a private or public school is not required to issue an information sheet to a pupil who wishes to participate in a youth athletic activity who has previously returned an appropriately signed information for another youth activity operated during the same school year. The law also requires the removal of a youth athlete by a coach, official or health care provider if it is determined that that person exhibits signs and symptoms of concussion or head injury and if a concussion is suspected. The athlete may not return until an evaluation by a licensed health care professional and receiving written clearance to return. The law defines “health care provider” to be a person who holds a credential (license or certificate of certification issued by State of Wisconsin), is trained and has experience in evaluating and managing pediatric concussions and head injuries and is practicing within the scope of the credential held. Coaches, officials or volunteers are immune from civil liability unless an omission rises to the level of gross negligence or wanton or willful misconduct.
The text of § 118.293 is available online at:
The following website offers additional information regarding Wisconsin concussion law: