New Oregon Concussion Bill Protects Coaches and Referees

Earlier this month, the Oregon House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 721, or “Jenna’s Law,” a law that protects youth athletes participating in sports programs outside of school, who have suffered concussions.

The new bill was revised from the Senate version to provide legal protection to coaches and referees who volunteer in youth sports. The Senate is expected to pass the latest version, setting the stage for the final step—a signature from governor.

This is not the first concussion law passed in Oregon. In 2009, the state passed Max’s Law, which was designed to improve the education and standards of recognizing symptoms of sports concussions.

While Senate Bill 721 protects coaches and officials to some degree by removing the option of returning an athlete to action without a release from a physician, the house version give volunteers more protection by relieving legal liability except in cases of “gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.”

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