The Senate, by a unanimous vote of 51-0, passed House Bill No. 48, which is titled “The Mississippi Youth Concussion Law”, Thursday. The bill went through the Mississippi House of Representatives two weeks ago and was passed by an overwhelming vote of 117-1.
The bill will now be presented to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, where he can either sign it or veto it. If Bryant signs the bill, it will go into law on July 1.
In the law, if any athlete shows signs of a concussion he must be removed from the game or practice immediately. The athlete must be evaluated by a licensed physician and can only return once he or she doesn’t have any more symptoms of a concussion and is cleared by the physician. It also enables people to learn more about concussions and the risk of concussions in youth sports through a concussion education course endorsed by the State Department of Heath. Parents or guardians shall receive and sign a concussion policy before the start of the school year.
The law would apply to athletes of all sports in grades 7-12 playing in the Mississippi High School Activities Association and the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools. The MHSAA and the MAIS have already had policies in place and are currently going by guidelines set by the National Federation of High Schools, which should make the transition of the schools, schools districts and organizations abiding the law much easier.