On July 1 a new regulation was put into place standardizing procedures for people involved in the prevention, training, management, and return-to-activity decision regarding students who incur head injuries while involved in extracurricular activities, including but not limited to interscholastic sports, in order to protect their health and safety.

The regulations apply to all public middle and high schools, and all other schools that are subject to the official rules of the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association).

All forms can be found via the athletic department Web page: duxbury.k12.ma.us/athletics.  They can be found in the Handbook & Other Forms section of the athletic department Web page.

Some of the items of the new legislation have already been put into place. Others will become mandatory for the 2011-2012 winter athletic season.

The first new item for the winter season is that all students, along with their parents, must complete the Mandatory State Concussion Form.   All student-athletes and their parents must now take an online course on concussion management. This is the same course that became mandatory for all members of the coaching staff one year ago.

The second new item is the Concussion Report Form.  This needs to be filled out if a student has had a concussion previous to the start of the season.  This gives our athletic trainer a “head’s up,” especially with incoming freshman student-athletes.

The third new item is the Concussion Report Form (in season).  This form would need to be completed in the event that a concussion occurred during a sports season.  The form would be filled out by the coach and athletic trainer if the concussion occurred at a practice and/or game.  If a concussion occurs during the sports season, but not at a school practice, the form would be filled out by the parents.

In all cases of a concussion, the fourth new item would need to be filled out.  This is the Return to Athletics – Concussion Form.  The regulations allow four categories of health professionals to authorize a student to return to play:

• A duly licensed physician

• A duly licensed certified trainer in consultation with a licensed physician

• A duly licensed nurse practitioner in consultation with a licensed physician

• A duly licensed neuropsychologist in coordination with the physician managing student’s recovery

In all cases the Return to Athletics – Concussion Form must be filled out.  The clearance cannot come from a prescription pad or notepaper.

The school is now responsible for submitting information to the MIAA and the Department of Public Health in regards to the total number of Report of Head Injury forms we receive.  We appreciate everyone’s help in implementing the entire policy.  If you have any questions feel free to contact the athletic department. E-mail is always the easiest form of communication.

In other news, you can now follow the athletic department on Twitter @duxathletics, where we will be posting varsity scores and other updates throughout the school year.