On November 10, 2011, Governor Corbett signed Senate Bill 200 into Pennsylvania State Law. This bill involves concussions relating to youth sports and establishes a protocol for dealing with a student who suffers a head concussion. Fortunately that protocol aligns with what we are already doing in terms of having our team physician make the return-to-play decision for student-athletes who suffer a concussion.
The other part of this bill requires anyone coaching a scholastic sport to take an annual concussion education course. You were all told this requirement was on the horizon and have been asked to take the NFHS concussion course in the past. However, that course is now a requirement of your coaching employment. In addition, according to the Senate Bill, the concussion education course must be taken on a yearly basis for all coaches, including all volunteer coaches. The penalty for coaches that do not complete a concussion course prior to the start of the season is suspension for that season.
Therefore, all coaches MUST take the NFHS concussion course as soon as possible but after July 1. This course should only take 20 minutes to complete and is free. At the end of the course there is a small quiz that tests your knowledge of concussions. You must register to take the course and place the course in your shopping cart, but you will not be charged any fees. The course is available at the NFHS website or via the link below:
In addition to the concussion certificate, starting with the 2013-2014 school year, all coaches are required to take an annual Sudden Cardiac Arrest course. The course structure and format is similar to the Concussion course which is also mandated by state law. The website for the sudden cardiac arrest course is http://www.sportsafetyinternational.org/cardiacwise-pats/. The course takes approximately 20 minutes and you will receive a certificate upon completion.
Once you receive your completion certificates, please print them out and hand them in to the athletic office or email your certificates to me. We are keeping them in your personnel files as a method to track the certification dates for all coaches. All certificates are due back to the athletic office no later than August 5, 2016. If I don’t have your certificates by this date, you are not allowed to have any contact with our student-athletes until your certificates are on file. As indicated above, in accordance with state law, if your certificates are not on file prior to the start of your season, you will be suspended for the 2016-2017 season.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this important issue.