Sports Concussion Bill Stalls in Virginia’s House of Representatives

A sports concussion bill that would have required youth sports leagues to develop concussion training, evaluation and treatment policies failed last week in a Virginia House of Representatives subcommittee.

Proponents are hoping a similar effort will make its way through the Senate.

The bill, HB1719 (, would have replaced a 2010 law passed that required the Board of Education to develop guidelines for “concussion education, awareness, and management” for public school athletes as well as expanded the law to include sports groups that use public property.

The bill would have mandated that coaches and employees complete annual training on concussions. In addition, school divisions and youth sports organizations would have had to provide concussion information to parents and develop procedures for recognizing concussion symptoms and ensuring athletes, who suffer those head injuries, receive medical clearance before returning to the field.

The bill was reportedly rejected when members of the House Students and Early Education Subcommittee claimed there would be problems enforcing the mandate, among other things.

The Senate Bill, SB1252 (, is sponsored by Sen. Ralph Northam, a democrat from Norfolk.

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One Response to Sports Concussion Bill Stalls in Virginia’s House of Representatives

  1. Steve Bender says:

    The House Republicans were also concerned that the language requiring medical providers “experienced in evaluation for concussion” was added. They claim that this term is undefined, has no standard (both true), and would prevent student-athletes from returning to play because no qualified physician is available in their locality. A third objection was that a change from “that student athlete’s coach” to any coach, physical therapist, school nurse, etc. would allow an opposing coach to remove a star from the field by claiming he may be concussed.

    The Senate version, sponsored by Senator Dr. Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist, passed through subcommittee Tuesday 1/29 by a unanimous vote and will be considered by the full Senate committee on Thursday, 1/31.