footballOn July 24, The Maryland State Board of Education adopted emergency regulations requiring concussion training for coaches.

By Aug. 31, each Maryland school system must train all coaches in concussion risk and management, including criteria for removal and return to play and recognition of concussion symptoms. In addition, each school system is required to implement policies that assure athletes and their parents or guardians receive information about the nature and risk of brain injuries.

The emergency regulations also require a medical assessment if any student athlete is suspected of sustaining a concussion or other brain injury. The athlete will not be allowed to return to the contest until cleared by a licensed health care provider authorized to provide sports physical examinations.

The emergency regulations are based upon guidelines from the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association that are already in place. Traumatic brain injuries in sports have been in the public spotlight, given attention at both the professional and collegiate sports, and State Board members wanted a regulation in place for the start of the 2012-13 school year.

Emergency regulations are in place for 180 days. During that time, State Board members plan to work with healthcare and athletics experts to draft permanent regulations regarding brain injuries. Those regulations will go through the typical process, allowing for public input before being made final.