Governor signs state concussion law

Published 6:33 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed the new Concussion Law on Tuesday at a ceremony with Alabama High School Athletic Association Executive Director Steve Savarese, members of the Alabama Statewide Sports Concussion Taskforce (ASCT), and AHSAA Associate Director Joe Evens present.

The law was written and sponsored by ASCT chairman Dr. Joe Ackerson, State Representative Paul Demarco, State Representative Ron Johnson, and State Senator Greg Reed.

The new law will require all athletic organizations to provide information to all athletes and their families about concussions, ensure all coaches have proper training in concussion recognition, and if a player is suspected of having a concussion they must be immediately removed from participation and must be cleared by a physician before returning to play.

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Since 2010, the AHSAA has included in their Coaches Education Program an online concussion course. The AHSAA Concussion Policy requires a Concussion Information Form to be signed by each player and parent.

It is estimated that up to 3.8 million sports related brain injuries occur in the United States each year with the highest rates occuring to athletes from ages 10 to 19.

Many team physicians and sports medicine experts have played a critical ongoing role in the research and  study of concussions to athletes in Alabama.

Neurosurgical consultation was provided by both Dr. Jay Wellons and Dr. Jim Johnson of Children’s Hospital of Alabama.