Education Committee Approves Browne's
Senate Bill 200 provides safeguards for student athletes
The Senate Education Committee today approved
Senate Bill 200, a measure introduced by Senator Pat Browne
(R-16) to increase awareness and prevention of traumatic head
injuries among Pennsylvania's scholastic athletes.
Senator Browne's proposed
Safety in Youth Sports Act aims to ensure that student
athletes who suffer concussions receive proper care and rest
before they get back into the game. The bill states that a
player who shows symptoms of sustaining a concussion would not
be able to return to play until they are cleared by an
appropriate medical professional. It also would require students
and a parent or guardian to read and sign a concussion awareness
sheet so they are better informed about injuries that may be sustained on the field.
"It wasn't all that long ago that these injuries were
downplayed. It was common just to say that a player simply got
his "bell rung" after a violent collision. Often, these players
were told to just "shake it off" and get back on to the field,"
Senator Browne said. "We now know that severe and repeated
concussive injuries dramatically impact the brain and too many
players are paying a heavy price for those injuries now. In some
cases, athletes' careers -- and even their lives -- were cut
short by the intensity and cumulative impact of those injuries."
SB 200 sets the following requirements:
- require the Department of Health and the Department of
Education post information on risks of head injuries and
concussions on their websites;
- require students and their parents review information regarding the risk
of head injuries and concussions before they participate in scholastic
- require students showing signs of brain trauma be taken out
of a game and be evaluated by a health practitioner who
specializes in brain injury before they return to participation
– with penalties for coaches who violate this provision; and,
- requires training of coaches in the risk of brain injury in
scholastic sports in a program certified by the CDC or the
National Federation of State High School Associations.