STATEHOUSE (Jan. 30, 2014) — State Sen. Travis Holdman’s (R-Markle) bill to protect high school student athletes passed the Senate today by a 45-1 vote.
Senate Bill 222 would create new guidelines to keep young athletes safe, which would include the following provisions:
• Requires head football coaches and assistant football coaches to complete a training course on concussions at least once every two years.
• Provides civil immunity for coaches in certain circumstances.
“It’s an unfortunate reality that many students suffer long-term effects from concussions sustained in youth sports,” Holdman said. “However, with appropriate training and procedures, we can take the necessary steps to reduce these consequences and even prevent serious injury from happening. It’s my hope this measure will give coaches the resources they need to ensure our kids are protected and able to enjoy a sport they love.”
Holdman said more than 30 medical and sports organizations have expressed support for a coaches’ training program on concussions. These include the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), National College Athletic Association, National Federation of State High School Associations, National Football League, Big Ten Conference and Indiana Football Coaches Association.
In the 2013 legislative session, Holdman authored legislation that required the General Assembly to examine ways to address concussions in student athletes. SB 222 resulted from discussion over the summer and fall in the Select Commission on Education.
SB 222 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.