Bill would require concussion training, waiting period for football


By Paige Clark

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana could soon become the first state to require high school football coaches to take part in a player safety and concussion-training course.

Senate Bill 222 – authored Sen. Travis Holdman, R–Markle – would require the course every two years.

“We’d be very proud to do this since USA Football, an arm of the NFL and players union is basically housed now and based” in Indianapolis, Holdman said.

The bill would also parallel a Washington’s state law by requiring football players to wait 24 hours before returning to the field of play after a concussion.

Holdman said Indiana is the eighth state to copy Washington’s law, but the first state to add the coaches’ training course.

Currently, the bill only requires high school football coaches take part in the training course, but Holdman said he hopes to work with soccer programs in the future.

“We went with football because of the complexity of the sport and the fact that we have a certified program in place for safety purposes,” Holdman said. “We just don’t have that in place for other sports.”

He said he has support from all over the state.

“I haven’t heard one objection to the bill so far,” Holdman said.

Bobby Cox, commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association said he doesn’t oppose the legislation, but doesn’t think it’s necessary.

“You don’t want the coach to be making that decision,” Cox said.

Current IHSAA protocol requires that if an athlete might have a concussion, the athlete must see a physician.

“We’ve had that protocol for over two years – before concussion language was written,” Cox said, “I think the protocols, as long as they’re executed, they’re appropriate.”

If athletes are cleared by a physician or an athletic trainer during the game and show no sign of concussion, they are allowed to re-enter. But if athletes are diagnosed with a concussion, they must wait 24 hours before returning to any athletic activity.

“In absence of a health professional, the official removes the athlete from the contest, and they cannot return until there is a written release forms a doctor,” Cox said.

Cox said parents or guardians receive the concussion protocol paper work before each sports season and must sign it for their children to participate.

“I think the (law) we have on the books right now is great,” said Dr. John Baldea, a sports medicine physician for IU Health. “I’d like to see the state law trimmed down a bit so that it exactly states that physicians only are allowed to do that.”

Baldea said other medical professionals – including chiropractors and podiatrists – can clear athletes with concussions to return to play under the current law

“We’re seeing some people who don’t know what they’re doing trying to clear athletes to return and play football,” said Baldea. “The IHSAA is very strict on that, but the state law is not very strict.”

Holdman said he does expect opposition, but expects it to pass.

“I think we have a great opportunity to put it into law,” he said.

Paige Clark is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.


  1. Here we go again, Big Brother going where he doesn’t belong. Sounds like a law already exists; make it work. This is IHSAA bailiwick, not Gov’t.

  2. Can any republican please weigh in on your disdain for the so called nanny state and recognize that republicans are running amok with nanny laws?

    • I am all for this law. It will mean fewer football players suffering head injuries and becoming liberal democrats.

      • Need I remind you that, by and large, research shows a higher percentage of idiots vote republican? Republican strategists have admitted this fact.

        • “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Winston Churchill

          Your assertion is a blatant lie. Actually with the exception of the Bush-Kerry election the opposite is true. As for Obama voters, they are a collection of the poor and ignorant who want public assistance and the professorial class of liberals who have no idea about how an economy works. The IQ differences are relatively small but lean toward the GOP voters having slightly higher IQ’s.

          • Ludicrous

            Full of confirmation bias, fallacy of affirming the consequent, and tautology among many other logical lapses.

            BTW there have been many studies claiming liberals were more intelligent than conservatives. I find them equally suspect and preposterous.

            • I know, I just had to bust Ghost for his Sunday morning propaganda point. Both parties have their share of imbeciles and intelligentsia and the imbeciles get all of the press. I do agree wholeheartedly with the Churchill quote.

        • And therefore all republicans are idiots.

          But then a higher number of rural people vote republican? So I guess all republicans are farmers.

          And don’t a higher number minorities vote democrat? So all democrats must be in a minority.

          And doesn’t a higher number of the elderly vote democrat, so I guess all democrats are elderly.

          And dose’t a higher number of illegal aliens vote democrat? So I guess all democrats are here illegally.

          And don’t a higher number of LGBTs vote democrat? So I guess all democrats are gay, trans-gendered, or cross dressers.

          You seem to have a low opinion of anyone who is not like you and a problem with logic. Both go together.

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