Illinois high school athletic directors and coaches will be required to take an online training course for concussion management, according to a new law signed Tuesday.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill during a ceremony at the Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep Academy in Chicago.
“Sports play a big role in the lives of many young people across our state,” Gov. Quinn said during the announcement. “While we want to ensure all children have the opportunity to play sports, we must also protect the health of our young athletes from potentially life-changing damage. This new law will help ensure that coaches will be better prepared to address and prevent concussions among their student athletes.”
The course is intended to educate athletic directors and coaches across all sports at recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussions and understanding the long-term effects of head injuries. The Illinois High School Association is tasked with designing and implementing the course.
“We appreciate the confidence Gov. Quinn and Rep. [Carol] Sente placed in the IHSA to work with respected medical professionals to develop and administer a top-tier program,” IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman said. “Risk minimization for student-athletes, especially as it relates to concussions, will continue to be a top priority for the IHSA.”
IHSA officials told reporters Tuesday that coaches for fall sports have undergone the online training program.
In 2011, Gov. Quinn signed a similar sports concussion-related law referred to as the Protecting Our Student Athletes Act. It requires student-athletes that show signs of a concussion to receive medical clearance before returning to play.