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 **Ohios  return-to-play  law goes into effect on April 26th, 2013**   


Ohio's Return-to-Play Law: What Coaches & Referees Need to Know –  Youth Sports Organizations (Non-school sports)


Training In Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion


Starting April 26th, 2013, individuals are not allowed to serve as a coach or referee for a youth sports organization, whether volunteer or paid, without:

1)   successfully completing, every three years, an online training program in recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussions and head injuries provided by the Ohio Department of Health


2)   holding a Pupil Activity Permit (PAP) from the Ohio Department of Education.


For those who current hold a Pupil Activity Permit: Starting April 26th, 2013, in order to renew their permit (every three years), coaches with a current PAP will be required to present evidence that they have successfully completed:


  1)   a training program in recognizing the symptoms of concussions and head injuries that is linked on the     Department of Health's web site (www.healthyohioprogram.org/concussion)


 2)   a training program authorized and required by an organization that regulates interscholastic conferences  or events.


Online Training

The Ohio Department of Health has approved the following free online trainings for coaches and referees :

National Federation of State High School Associations Concussion in Sports - What you Need to Know:

http://nfhslearn.com/courses/61037   (This free on-line course is available through the NFHS. You will need to click the “Order Course” button and complete a brief registration form to take the course. However, you do not need to be a member of NFHS to access this course.)  Follow these steps to complete the course:

1) Click on the button that says, please login to order. In the window that appears, click Register Now.


2) When your registration is complete you may "order" the free concussion course offered along the left hand side of the page.  Continue following prompts. Although it may look like you'll be charged for the course, there is no cost.


3) Once you've completed "checkout," you'll be able to take the free online course.


4) When you've completed and passed the course, you have the option of printing a certificate of completion.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention Heads Up Concussion in Youth Sports On-Line Training Program:


PLEASE NOTE: Both courses offer a “certificate of completion” upon successful passage. 


Removal From and Return to Play

1)   Starting April 26th, 2013, coaches, referees, or officials must remove an athlete exhibiting the signs and symptoms of a concussion during practice or a game. These include:

  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Any headache or “pressure” in head. (How badly it hurts does not matter.)
  • Is confused about assignment or position.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Forgets plays.
  • Balance problems or dizziness.
  • Is unsure of game, score or opponent.
  • Double or blurry vision.
  • Moves clumsily.
  • Sleeping more or less than usual.
  • Answers questions slowly.
  • Trouble falling asleep.
  •  Loses consciousness (even briefly).
  • Does not “feel right.”
  • Shows behavior or personality changes (irritability, sadness, nervousness, feeling more emotional).
  •  Confusion
  • Can’t recall events before or after hit or fall.
  • Concentration or memory problems.
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy.


2)   The athlete  cannot return to play on the same day that he or she is removed.

3)   The athlete  is not permitted to return to play until they have been assessed and receive written clearance by a physician or by any other licensed health care provider approved by the youth sports organization.  It is important  to review your organization’s policy regarding which health care providers are authorized to clear an athlete to return-to-play.


For More Information


Ohio Department of Health - Ohio’s Return to Play Law: www.healthyohioprogram.org/concussion


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Head's Up in Youth Sports:



Ohio Department of Education – Pupil Activity Permit: