Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)
Sports Concussion Legislation
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.'s)
- Where can I find Michigan Law on sports concussions?
Public Act 342 of 2012 - Michigan Law regarding the Department of Community
Health's development, adoption and approval of educational and training materials
for sports concussion awareness compliance.
Public Act 343 of 2012 - Michigan Law regarding Compliance of Sports Concussion
Awareness Training for organizing entities, sponsors or operators of an athletic activity
in which youth athletes will participate.
- When does the law take effect?
Both Acts went into effect June 30, 2013.
- Do other states have a similar law?
Nearly every state and the District of Columbia have adopted legislation to protect young
athletes in the event of a sports related concussion.
- Under Michigan Law, who can authorize a young athlete to return to play?
Only a health professional licensed in the State of Michigan or otherwise authorized to engage
in a health profession in the State of Michigan and whose scope of practice within that health profession includes the recognition, treatment, and management of concussions can authorize
an athlete to return to play. Written permission must be obtained, using the medical clearance
to return to play form, which can be found on MDCH webpage:
- Can an organizational entity make rules or procedures more stringent than Michigan Law?
Yes, as long as policies are not in conflict with the law.
- May an organizing entity prepare and provide its own form to collect the signed statements from youth athletes and parents or is it required to use the Michigan Department of Community Health form?
An organizing entity may use its own form so long as the content is the same as the content
on the Michigan Department of Community Health form.
- Is the form available in other languages?
The form was developed in English and Spanish. It is the responsibility of the organizing
entity to make sure that the athletes, parents and participants understand and receive the information, and to collect and store signatures.
- Are all assistant coaches required to complete the online training, or just the head coach?
All adult participants, including coaches, assistant coaches and volunteers of the organizing
entity are required to complete the online training course.
- What training will satisfy this requirement?
Adults who are involved with youth athletic activities must take one of the two trainings listed
here to meet this requirement:
http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/Training/index.html - CDC's "Heads Up" Concussion
Youth in Sports Training - focus is youth athletes below high school level
http://www.nfhslearn.com/electiveDetail.aspx?courseID=15000 - the National Federal of State
High School Associations High School Sports Training - focus is youth athletes at high school
- How do I prove that I have completed the training course?
Be sure to save or print off the certificate that is presented to you at the completion of the
on-line course. If you close out of the course without taking one of these steps, you will
need to re-take the course to recover a certificate.
- How long are the online training courses? Do they cost money?
The on-line courses are approximately 30 minutes long, and they are both free.
- What happens if a student does not return a parent/athlete acknowledgement form to their coach?
A student should not participate in ANY athletic activity. Each student must complete and
return the acknowledgement form in order to participate in physical activity.
- Who is responsible for collecting and keeping track of any and all forms? (Parent/Athlete acknowledgement form, medical clearance form, etc…)
Each organizing entity is responsible for making sure that the appropriate information is
maintained in a permanent file for the duration of that youth athlete's participation in athletic
activity, or until the youth athlete is 18 years of age.
- If we are planning on having a pre-season meeting with parents and students, can we provide concussion training at that meeting?
Yes. It is up to each individual organizing entity to comply with the law. The informational
pieces available on the Michigan Department of Community Health web site are what must be shared to be compliant with the law: www.michigan.gov/sportsconcussion.
- What are the consequences of not complying with the law?
The organizational entity and its agents could be held liable for non-compliance in a Michigan
court of law.
- Our organization has developed training/information materials for our coaches and staff on sports concussions. Is this sufficient to use to comply with the law, or do we also need to take the CDC on-line courses, too?
Organizational entities will need to present their materials and trainings to their own attorney(s) for
review and determination that they meet the state’s standards. If they are met, then the entity may
proceed to use them to comply with the sports concussion law. Please refer to MCL 333.9156 for
language from the law regarding the entity’s responsibility for compliance. The Michigan Department
of Community Health has identified the CDC web-based trainings as resources for complying with
the law as they 1) contain the necessary information to impart to coaches and those adults who e
ngage with youth sports 2) they are accessible 3) these web-based training modules offer a
certificate to prove that the course has been taken and 4) the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention is the federal agency for public health and health education oversight.
Definitions from the law:
An "organizing entity" is a school, state or local parks and recreation department or
commission or other state or local entity, a nonprofit or for-profit entity, a public or private
A "youth athlete" is any individual who participates in an athletic activity who is under
the age of 18 years.
An "athletic activity" is any program or event, including practice and competition, during
which a youth athletes participates or practice to participates in. This also includes
participation is physical education classes that are part of a school curriculum.
An "appropriate health professional" is a health care professional licensed by the
State of Michigan whose scope of practice includes the recognition, treatment and
management of concussions.
Information on Concussions:
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head. A concussion
may or may not cause unconsciousness.
How common are sports concussions?
According to the CDC, each year U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 1
73,285 sports and recreation-related concussions among children and adolescents,
with the highest number of injuries occurring in boy's football and girls' soccer. (http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/facts.html)
What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?
Signs and symptoms may not appear until days after the injury. Some commons signs
are that the athlete appears dazed, confused and/or moving slowly. Some common
symptoms include (but are not limited to) headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness,
blurry vision and just not "feeling right."
How can concussions be prevented?
Make sure all equipment fits properly and that the athletes are following the rules
and safety guidelines of the game and practicing good sportsmanship.
How soon can a young athlete return to play after a concussion, or if a concussion is suspected?
An athlete should never return to play until they are evaluated by an appropriate
health care professional. The young athlete must receive written clearance from the
appropriate health care professional before they can return to athletic activity. Recovery
time will vary by athlete and injury. It is recommended to follow a graduated return to
play plan, such as the University of Michigan Neuro Sport Brain Protocol, as part of
the young athlete's recovery protocol.
Is baseline testing required before a student can participate in an athletic activity?
Baseline testing is not required under Michigan Law, but it is recommended as a
Where can I order concussion prevention resources?
The CDC offers many resources for concussion awareness and prevention free of charge: http://www.cdc.gov/HEADSUP, various
resources are also available through links available on the Michigan Department of
Community Health Sports Concussion page: www.michigan.gov/sportsconcussion.