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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 (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+sum+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 (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+sum+SB1252), is sponsored by Sen. Ralph Northam, a democrat from Norfolk.

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