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Senate, No. 2 267

[Senate, February 10 , 20 10 New d raft reported on Senate, No. 796 from the committee on Public Health


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts










A n A ct Relating to safety regulations for school athletic programs .




Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled,

      And by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding at the conclusion thereof the following new section :

Section 2 23

This Section shall apply to all public schools within the Commonwealth and to any other school in the Commonwealth whose athletic programs are subject to Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules. 

The department shall direct the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention to develop an interscholastic athletic Head Injury Safety Training program to be completed by the following individuals: coach es , trainer s and parent volunteer s for an y extracurricular athletic activity ; physician s who are employed by a school or school district, or who volunteers to assist with an extracurricular athletic activity; director s responsible for a school marching band ; and

a parent or legal guardian of a child who participates in an extracurricular athletic activity.

In developing said program, t he d epartment may use any of the materials readily available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Red Cross The safety training shall include, but not be limited to current training in recognizing the symptoms of potentially catastrophic head and neck injuries, concussions, and injuries related to second impact syndrome.

              As part of the interscholastic athletic Head Injury Safety Training program , school district s shall provide to students participating in any extracurricular athletic activit y the following information; a summary of department rules and regulations relative to safety regulations for student participation in extracurricular athletic activities;  including protocol for post concussion participation or participation in an extracurricular athletic activity after becoming unconscious; and written information related to the recogni tion of symptoms of head injuries , information regarding the biology and short-term and long-term consequences of concussions .

The department shall develop forms to provide coaches with up-to-date information of their athletes head injury history to enable them to identify those students who are at greater risk for repeated head injuries.  These forms would require students to provide information each season relative to their sports head injury history prior to receiving clearance to participat e in an ext racurricular athletic activity.  These forms would require the signature of both the student and their parent or legal guardian.  

A coach, trainer or volunteer for an extracurricular athletic activity shall not encourage or permit a student participating in the activity to engage in any unreasonably dangerous athletic technique that unnecessarily endangers the health of a student, including using a helmet or any other sports equipment as a weapon.

If a student participating in an ext racurricular athletic activity becomes unconscious during a practice or competition the student may not return to the practice or competition during which the student became unconscious; or p articipate in any extracurricular athletic activity until the student receives written authorization for such participation from a physician.

If a student, suffers a concussion as diagnosed by a medical professional, while participating in an extracurricular athletic activity the student may not p articipate in any extracurricular athletic activity until the student receives written authorization for such participation from a physician .

The superintendent of the school district or the director of a school shall maintain complete and accurate records of the district’s or school’s compliance with the requirements of this section .  A school that is determined by the school’s superintendent or director to be out of compliance with this section shall be subject to penalties as determined by the department .

This section does not waive any liability or immunity of a school district or its officers or employees. This section does not create any liability for a course of legal action against a school district, or its officers or employees.

A person who volunteers to assist with an extracurricular athletic activity is not liable for civil damages arising out of an act or omission relating to the requirements of this section, unless the act or omission is willfully or wanton negligent.

The departments shall promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of section 223 of chapter 111 of the General Laws within 90 days of the effective date of this act; provided that these regulations shall become effective for the fiscal year following final approval of said regulations; provided, however, that not less than 12 months shall have elapsed between final approval of the regulations and the date of implementation in order to provide sufficient time to implement the regulations.

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