High schools in Indiana are required to educate their coaches, student athletes, and parents about concussions and head injuries, and follow specific rules after a head injury occurs. A new law would apply those same rules to grades 5-8.
Senate Bill 403 would require all coaches and assistant coaches to complete some safety education courses, if their athletes are less than 20 years old.
If student athletes, are suspected of sustaining a head injury, they’d need to be immediately removed from play until they’re evaluated by a medical professional within 24 hours.
The Indiana High School Athletes Association began collecting stats on concussive events in the 2014 season – more than 1230 were reported from less than 200 schools in the state.
“I don’t think there’s any question that there are concussions occurring at the middle school and even the elementary level," says Bobby Cox, Commissioner of the IHSAA. "I sense that our kids are bigger, faster stronger every year. I have no doubt that that’s occurring at the middle level.”
Cox says there are plenty of education resources available for coaches. He says continuing to collect and analyze data, and increase education requirements for coaches will lead to improving rules of play, and overall player safety.
Senate Bill 403 is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday.