Lawmakers look at rules on youth-sports head injuries

Associated Press


Coaches in Ohio’s youth sports leagues — from soccer to hockey — soon will be required to sit players who show concussionlike symptoms.

Armed with more evidence about the dangers of head injuries, state lawmakers approved the new rules that Ohio Gov. John Kasich agreed to sign into a law aimed at protecting young athletes.

The new rules apply to youth sports organizations outside of the Ohio High School Athletic Association schools, which already have their own guidelines. More than two dozen states have restrictions on when young athletes can participate after a head injury.

Ohio’s new law will require players to sit out games and practice if they have symptoms of a concussion or head injury. Those players won’t be allowed back in until being checked and cleared by a doctor or licensed health care provider.

Dawn Hoopengardner of Doylestown said she supports the state’s plans. Her 10-year-old began seeing double after taking a head-to-head hit during a youth football game this fall.

He missed not only the rest of the season but also two weeks of school. “We weren’t going to take any chances,” Hoopengardner said.

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