Ohio Concussion Law
House Bill 143, “Return to Play” Law, ORC 3707.511
In order to protect young athletes, the State of Ohio has passed a concussion law, commonly called the “Return to Play” law. This law, similar to laws enacted in other states, imposes training, safety, and awareness requirements on youth sports organizations and its leagues, tournaments, coaches, referees, officials, and athletes and their families.
A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious. They may be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly.
Because of the significant health concern posed by the risk of concussions, and because of the “Return to Play” laws enacted by the State of Ohio, the Anderson Township Park District (“ATPD”) is instituting new expectations of youth sports organizations using ATPD facilities, leagues, coaches, referees, officials, instructors, and athletes and their families.
The Ohio Department of Health (“ODH”) has developed information sheets on concussions and head injuries. Before an athlete can play:
- A parent will have to be provided with the required information (ODH, Concussion Information Sheet);
- Coaches, referees, officials, and instructors will have to complete an on-line training program on brain trauma every three years;
- Representatives of all youth sports organizations and agencies, facility users, and contract programs will be required to sign an acknowledgement stating they are required to ensure all coaches, instructors, referees, and parents are being informed and/or trained as required by house bill 143.
- As outlined in House Bill 143, athletes demonstrating signs of concussion:
- Must be immediately removed from play;
- They cannot return to activities that day;
- Prior to returning to any youth sports activity, a physician’s note clearing them for participation must be presented to the youth sports organization or agency.
If a youth sports organization, coach, referee, official, or instructor is knowingly not compliant with the Return to Play law, including training requirements and removal from play requirements, they could face civil liability should a child become injured due to their failure to follow the law. Furthermore, leagues, coaches, referees, officials, and/or officials who fail to follow the law may be rendered ineligible to participate in ATPD programs and/or to use ATPD facilities.
Visit the following for more information about the Return to Play law, training materials, information about the identification, treatment, and prevention of concussions, and the Ohio Department of Health Concussion Information Sheet:
- Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion
- Ohio Revised Code 3707.511 Effective 4/26/2013
- Ohio’s “Return to Play” Law Frequently Asked Questions
- ATPD Youth Sports Concussion Policy
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online training
- National Federation of State High School Associations online training
- For more information and helpful links, please click here