SECTION 1. There is hereby established a special commission to study concussions that occur as a result of varsity sports in public and private high schools. The commission shall consist of 9 members, one of whom shall be the commissioner of public health or designee, who shall serve as chair, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts; and 5 of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, 1 of whom shall be a physician with expertise in the management of sports-related concussions; 1 of whom shall be a researcher specializing in the study of the long-term consequences of brain trauma; 1 of whom is a professional whose primary responsibility is that of athletic director at a Massachusetts high school; and 1 of whom is a representative of private school athletic programs in Massachusetts. In appointing members of the commission, consideration shall be given to race, gender and geographic diversity.
The commission shall: (i) analyze current data on the prevalence and causes of sports-related concussions; (ii) review the rules associated with each sport and safety policies currently in effect with respect to each such sport; and (iii) study the cost and effectiveness of baseline concussion testing of athletes.
The commission shall make recommendations regarding: (i) methods of reducing and preventing concussions; (ii) procedures to be employed by schools to identify and respond to occurrences of concussions; (iii) whether baseline concussion testing should be required for students participating in high school athletics; and (iv) any legislation the commission deems necessary to effect its recommendations.
The commission shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the joint committee on public health no later than May 1, 2019. The commission shall also submit a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations with the committee on or before December 1, 2018.
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