On Monday, the Governor signed into law the Protecting Our Student Athletes Act (formerly House Bill 200). The new law recognizes that student athletes suffer concussions and head injuries in startling numbers every year and occasionally prematurely return to play after sustaining such injuries. The changes to the School Code are intended to protect student athletes from concussions and other head injuries.
The School Code now requires school boards to adopt policies regarding student athlete concussions and head injuries that comply with the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) protocols, policies, and by-laws. Schools also must provide information concerning concussions and head injuries as a part of any agreement, contract, code, or other written instrument that a student athlete and parent/guardian are required to sign before participating in practice or competition. Schools must use educational materials provided by IHSA to educate coaches, student athletes, and parents/guardians about the nature and risk of concussion and head injuries, including the risks of continuing to play after a concussion or head injury.
This law becomes effective immediately.