Welcome everyone to this very important section for parents/guardians, coaches and student athletes.
Ensuring the health and well being of your child, player or teammate is a priority we all share. The information provided below will help you recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury of any student athlete.
Important Things you Need to Know
Virginia youth sports programs using public school property are now subject to Virginia's concussion law, which includes the following requirements:
- Annual concussion education.
- Remove from play when concussion suspect.
- Return to play or practice only with written medical clearance after at least one day.
2014 Virginia Code
Title 22.1 - Education
§ 22.1-271.5. Guidelines and policies and procedures on concussions in student-athletes
Universal Citation: VA Code § 22.1-271.5 (2014)
A. The Board of Education shall develop and distribute to each local school division guidelines on policies to inform and educate coaches, student-athletes, and their parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussions, criteria for removal from and return to play, risks of not reporting the injury and continuing to play, and the effects of concussions on student-athletes' academic performance.
B. Each local school division shall develop policies and procedures regarding the identification and handling of suspected concussions in student-athletes. Such policies shall require:
1. In order to participate in any extracurricular physical activity, each student-athlete and the student-athlete's parent or guardian shall review, on an annual basis, information on concussions provided by the local school division. After having reviewed materials describing the short- and long-term health effects of concussions, each student-athlete and the student-athlete's parent or guardian shall sign a statement acknowledging receipt of such information, in a manner approved by the Board of Education; and
2. A student-athlete suspected by that student-athlete's coach, athletic trainer, or team physician of sustaining a concussion or brain injury in a practice or game shall be removed from the activity at that time. A student-athlete who has been removed from play, evaluated, and suspected to have a concussion or brain injury shall not return to play that same day nor until (i) evaluated by an appropriate licensed health care provider as determined by the Board of Education and (ii) in receipt of written clearance to return to play from such licensed health care provider.
The licensed health care provider evaluating student-athletes suspected of having a concussion or brain injury may be a volunteer.
C. Each non-interscholastic youth sports program utilizing public school property shall either (i) establish policies and procedures regarding the identification and handling of suspected concussions in student-athletes, consistent with either the local school division's policies and procedures developed in compliance with this section or the Board's Guidelines for Policies on Concussions in Student-Athletes, or (ii) follow the local school division's policies and procedures as set forth in subsection B. In addition, local school divisions may provide the guidelines to organizations sponsoring athletic activity for student-athletes on school property. Local school divisions shall not be required to enforce compliance with such policies.
D. As used in this section, "non-interscholastic youth sports program" means a program organized for recreational athletic competition or recreational athletic instruction for youth.