Delaware Governor signs high school sports concussion law

“When in doubt, sit it out.” That’s the jist of a new concussion bill Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law today that changes junior high and high school athletics in Delaware for, what many say is, the better.

Senate Bill 111 sets regulations when it comes to recognizing and managing student athletes exhibiting signs and symptoms of sports-related concussions during practices, scrimmages and games, for schools in the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA).

“It requires mandatory concussion training for all interscholastic coaches and awareness training for parents and athletes, and it sets some rules around written medical clearance before returning to play,” said Gov. Markell.

State lawmakers say SB 111 will keep Delaware’s young people safe from serious consequences including, worst case, long-term brain injury.

Philadelphia Eagles legend Vince Papale who’s suffered many a concussion in his time, spoke on behalf of the legislation outside Legislative Hall in Dover.

“You can get along with a sprained ankle, you can get along with dislocated or separated shoulders, or broken teeth, or broken noses, or pulled muscles and all the things I’ve had,” said Papale, “We can heal from that, maybe we’ll have a little bit of a limp, but in order to compete anymore in society and in the world, you can’t have a limp in the brain.”

The NFL actively supports the passage of this law.

“Laws like this one are a major step in concussion treatment and prevention, and we applaud the Delaware state government for their proactive stance,” said NFL Vice President Jeff Miller.

“This is about keeping our young people healthy, so in the long term they can enjoy the great futures they have ahead of them,” Markell said.

Twenty-eight states have passed similar laws protecting young athletes. Delaware makes it 29.

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