The National Football League continues to be America’s favorite sport. According to a Harris Poll quoted by the Business Insider, thirty-five percent of Americans picked professional football as their favorite sport. Baseball, the second most popular sport, received fourteen percent of the vote. While the popularity of football is without question, unfortunately, there are many health risks associated with football, the most prominent being concussions. The concussion issue has impacted every level of football, not just the NFL. In fact, the decline in the number of boys playing high school football has been larger over the past six years than for any other major boys’ sport, reports the New York Times. This decline is reflected in a RAND Corporation poll found that fifty-five percent of people polled would be comfortable with their sons playing football, according to the Times.
Like these other states, Illinois is also grappling with concussions and concussion safety. In April 2015 a former South Elgin football player sued the Illinois High School Association because he did not believe the organization did not do enough to protect players from concussions, according to the Chicago Tribune. And earlier this month Governor signed the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act into law. The Illinois High School Association explains that, under this law, each school board must adopt a policy regarding concussions and head injuries that complies with the IHSA’s rules and by-laws. Additionally, each school district must use education materials provided by the IHSA to educate coaches, athletes, and parents or guardians about concussions and head injuries. Also, all public, private, and charter schools must form a Concussion Oversight Team. The Team will develop protocols for when concussed students can return to school and resume playing sports. By September 1, 2016, school officials will need to complete a training program about concussions that must last at least two hours. Those who must provide proof of successful completion of the program include nurses, game officials, head coaches, assistant coaches, and members of the Concussion Oversight Team. The training must be completed every two years. Furthermore, Public, Private, and Charter schools must develop their own emergency action plans for injuries where a student’s condition may deteriorate rapidly.
For the text of the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act, click here.
If you or a family member or friend have suffered an injury, call the Chicago lawyers of Stein & Stein, LLC to obtain compensation for your injury. Call our office for a consultation so we can discuss your rights and how best to handle your injury claim. There is no charge for speaking with one of our experienced attorneys so call us at 312.422.0500.