H.B. 143 Addresses Sports Concussions, and Pupil Activity Permit Requirements for Coaches and Referees

House Bill 143, effective April 26, 2013, imposes new requirements for the prevention and detection of concussions and head injuries. Each school year, students must submit a form signed by the student’s parent/guardian stating the family has received a concussion and head injury information sheet required by R.C. 3707.52. A completed form must be submitted each school year for each sport in which the student practices or competes. The District may not permit a student to practice or compete until this form is submitted. R.C. 3313.539(B).

H.B. 143 also creates new requirements for the detection and prevention of head injuries. If a student practicing for, or competing in, an interscholastic athletic event exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with having a concussion or head injury, the student must be removed by the coach or referee. R.C. 3313.539(D)(1) and (2). The student may not return to practice or competition that same day, and cannot participate until both: (a) the student’s condition is assessed by a physician or other licensed health care provider authorized by the board of education;and (b) the student receives written clearance that it is safe to return to practice or competition from a physician or other licensed provider. R.C. 3313.539(E).

H.B. 143 provides that a school district subject to the rules of an interscholastic conference or an organization regulating interscholastic conferences or events shall be considered in compliance with the above requirements if the conference adopts substantially similar rules. The Ohio High School Athletic Association has updated its concussion regulations, effective April 26, 2013. A copy of OHSAA’s regulations can be found at:

http://www.ohsaa.org/medicine/Concussions/ConcussionRegulations.pdf.

H.B. 143 also makes changes affecting pupil activity permits. No school district may permit an individual to coach interscholastic athletics unless he or she holds a pupil activity permit for coaching. See R.C. 3313.539(C)(1). To obtain this permit, each individual will be required to complete a training program focused on brain trauma and brain injury management. R.C. 3319.303(C)(1). To renew this permit, an individual will be required to present evidence that he or she has completed, within the previous three years, a training program in recognizing the symptoms of concussions and head injuries to which the Department of Health has provided a link on its website under R.C. 3705.52, or a training program authorized and required by an organization regulating interscholastic conferences or events. R.C. 3319.303(C)(2).

H.B. 143 further mandates that a school district may not permit an individual to referee interscholastic athletics unless he or she: (a) holds a pupil activity permit issued under R.C. 3319.303 for coaching; (b) has completed, within the previous three years, a training program in recognizing symptoms of concussions and head injuries to which the Department of Health has provided a website link; or (c) has completed a training program authorized and required by an organization that regulates interscholastic conferences or events.

1 A board may authorize a licensed provider who is not a physician to make an assessment or grant clearance only if the provider is acting: (a) in consultation with; (b) pursuant to the referral of; (c) in collaboration with; or (d) under the supervision of, a physician.

This Legal Update is intended as general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If advice is required, please contact us at (614) 222-8686 or via email:

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