Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Strict Concussion Rules for High School Football Proposed

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- Two Bay Area lawmakers are hoping they can pass a law by the start of next fall's high school football season that would require injured students to get a doctor's okay before returning to the field. This comes after a 16-year-old San Jose student was nearly killed after a blow to the head during a Thanksgiving Day football game.

San Jose High Academy running back Matt Blea is recovering, but won't ever play football again after his concussion. Now San Mateo Assemblyman Jerry Hill and Castro Valley Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi want to require doctors notes before high schoolers return to the field. Hill says he still has head scars from his days as a Balboa High linebacker.

"Medical research indicates that childrens' brains recover more slowly from brain concussions," said Hill. "A blow to the head to an athlete still recovering from a concussion can prove fatal."

Tommy Mallon should know, eight months ago he was playing for his San Diego area high school lacrosse team when he was hit from the side. Mallon was already suffering from three concussions, "and I broke my neck in three places," he said.

The hit didn't seem bad so he wanted to shake it off but an athletic trainer said no, made him stay down, and essentially saved his life.

Another bill sponsored by Hayashi would require concussion training for all high school coaches as well as make defibrillators available at all games and practices.

You can listen to the audio at this link:

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