High School Athlete Concussions Debated

Feb 10, 2016

A Senate panel today approved legislation they say is needed to minimize injury for high school athletes who suffer concussions at school-sponsored events.      

The bill would require a professional trainer to evaluate injured players at all varsity competitions in so-called collision sports, including football, soccer, and wrestling.

Backers say the bill would make it harder for coaches to put an injured player back in the game without proper rest or evaluation

Maquoketa Democrat Tod Bowman said a trainer was present when his son was knocked out in a wrestling match in his junior year at Clear Creek-Amana schools.

“And she evaluated him and said you’re done son,” Bowman said.

Bowman is a high school football and wrestling coach.  

“That’s the constant battle coaches face," Bowman said. “My son wanted to return to action."   

Bowman’s son returned to the wrestling squad after a two-week recuperation.

Trainers who attended a statehouse hearing told of coaches putting star players back in the game after a head injury.  

Skeptics wonder if there would be enough athletic trainers in the state to staff every varsity event on, for example, a Friday night during football season.

Repeat and untreated concussions have been getting attention in recent years for athletes from amateur to professional.