New Tennessee Concussion Legislation

The TSSAA office has received numerous inquiries regarding the new concussion legislation that went into effect on January 1, 2014. We are not sure what information, if any, you have received from the state of Tennessee. Therefore, we wanted to take this opportunity to arm you with as much information as we have been able to acquire regarding the new requirements this law places on our schools. The link to the new law in its entirety can be found here.

New Requirements from this legislation:

  1. Coaches, Parent / Student-Athlete Forms – The new requirements of this law include forms for coaches, parents, and student-athletes to sign acknowledging that they are aware of the signs, symptoms, and dangers of concussions. We would encourage each school to include these forms in your Pre-Participation Physical Examination/Parental Consent paperwork.  The Coaches Form can be found here.  The Parent / Student-Athlete Form can be found here.
  2. CDC Checklist – Persons who remove athletes from competition for showing signs and symptoms of a concussion are now required to use the CDC Concussion Signs and Symptoms Checklist when evaluating the athlete. We would suggest that your coaches have these forms on hand at practices and competitions in the event that an athlete has to be removed from an activity after displaying signs or symptoms of a concussion. The completed form should be made available to the physician that evaluates the student for return to play. The procedures and return to play guidelines in the new law are very similar to those required in the TSSAA Concussion Policy. In fact, the TSSAA Concussion Policy is slightly more restrictive. Therefore, by continuing to follow the TSSAA Concussion Policy, along with utilizing this checklist, you should be in compliance when removing athletes from competition and returning them to play.  The CDC Concussion Signs and Symptoms Checklist can be found here.
  3. Annual Online Education for Coaches – Coaches must complete either the NFHS online course entitled “Concussion in Sports, What You Need to Know” or the CDC online course entitled “Heads Up Concussion in Youth Sports” annually.Persons wishing to complete the NFHS course will have to register here. After you have registered, you may access the course by logging in here.  Persons wishing to complete the CDC course entitled “Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports” may access the course here. We would encourage you to complete the NFHS course. It is geared more for the interscholastic coach and allows you log in and out without having to start over. Both courses are about 20-25 minutes in length.

Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.