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TO:  All OHSAA Contest Officials and Directors of Development for Officiating

FROM:  Dr. Dan Ross, Commissioner

RE:  Updated Concussion Regulations in Response to House Bill 143 for 2013-14

DATE:  February 14, 2013

Thank you for all that you do and have been doing to insure that all current OHSAA and NFHS rules regarding the prevention, recognition and management of concussions and head injuries are being observed and fully implemented.  For the last two years, the OHSAA has been at the forefront of the rules writing and education process to respond to this critical health issue that can have a devastating impact on our student athletes.  We will continue that mission to protect our students and all those who work in the interscholastic athletics arena, including all OHSAA contest officials.

Notwithstanding the leading role that the Ohio High School Athletic Association has played in the area of developing policies concerning concussion prevention, recognition and management, in December of 2012, Ohio’s Governor Kasich signed into law legislation that was passed by Ohio’s 129th General Assembly which incorporated much of what the OHSAA regulations previously mandated.  This law, however, does add several aspects to previous OHSAA regulations.  Therefore, in order to be fully compliant with this law as signed by our Governor, modifications have been made to OHSAA policy.  These modifications are set forth in these updated Concussion Regulations which were approved by the Board of Directors on February 14, 2013.  Please click here http://www.ohsaa.org/medicine/Concussions/ConcussionRegulations.pdf to read these regulations which will also be published in the 2013-14 OHSAA Handbook. The regulations become fully effective on April 26, 2013.

 Important Changes From Previous Regulations Include:

1.   A mandate that all contest officials have either a Pupil Activity Program/Coaching Permit (PAP) or show evidence of completion of either the NFHS or CDC concussion course.  When an individual takes a concussion course, the individual can print a certificate of completion. We are recommending that all officials carry this information with them while officiating beginning on April 26, 2013 of this spring sports season until the end of this school year.  After that, it is the intention of the OHSAA to require each official upon renewal or new registration of the officiating license to verify that he or she possesses this educational component.   We are also recommending that the site manager at all contests this spring beginning April 26, 2013 check for this component.  We understand that some officials may have already taken one of the concussion courses and failed to retain evidence of completion.  In such cases, we are recommending that the official retake the course and insure that the certificate of completion is printed and retained.

2.   A change in the Return to Play (RTP) Protocol prohibiting any student who has been removed from a practice or a competition by a coach or a contest official to return to that practice or competition on that same day.  RTP will be permitted thereafter (meaning no earlier than the next day) only with written authorization by a physician, either an M.D. or D.O.  If a Board of Education or other governing board wishes to authorize another licensed health care provider such as an athletic trainer, to perform this authorization, the provider must be acting in consultation with a physician (M.D. or D.O), pursuant to a referral from a physician, in collaboration with a physician, or under the supervision of a physician.  
The official’s duty has not changed in reference to this new protocol.  An official shall immediately remove a student from a contest who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with having sustained a concussion or head injury (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems).  As in the past, it is required that the official who has to remove a student from competition for this reason shall submit to the OHSAA within 48 hours the
“OHSAA Concussion Report” which can be found here http://ohsaa.org/medicine/OHSAAConcussionReport.pdf
Please find below a couple additional items to inform you about these changes:

3.   All parents and students must review and sign the Ohio Department of Health’s “Concussion Information Sheet.”  Concussion education is part of the mandatory curriculum (Bylaw 3-4-1) for preseason meetings at each member school.  It is recommended that schools present this Concussion Information Sheet to parents and students at the spring preseason meetings and at all meetings thereafter.  In addition, we strongly encourage all parents and students to take one or both of the concussion courses.  The OHSAA Preseason DVD, also covers this topic, and the new sports regulations provide additional resources on this topic.

4.  The OHSAA has now updated its Preparticipation Physical Evaluation Form for 2013-14There have been no substantive changes to pages 1-5, but the page six consent form has been revised to reflect this new concussion law.  Also, imbedded as a link on our Sports Medicine Page will be the Department of Health’s Concussion Information Sheet that can be downloaded from the same location on the OHSAA sports medicine page. 

Please take some time to review this information, and feel free to contact our staff if you have questions.

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Last modified: March 12, 2019