Title

Concussion policy and law: Primacy or subservience for the athletic trainer?

ORCID

J. Mark VanNess: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5902-8735

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Athletic Business

Department

Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Department

ISSN

1942-5864

Volume

9

Issue

4

DOI

10.3928/19425864-20170504-04

First Page

149

Last Page

153

Publication Date

7-1-2017

Abstract

Legal mandates consistent with up-todate scientific understanding are necessary for successful enforcement of concussion protocols. The health and safety of participants in both training and competition is ensured by the diligence of athletic trainers as their primary responsibility. Coaches must acquiesce to the health care provider's return-to-play recommendation because the coach's primary responsibility is coordination of play and training. This article provides a review of law and policy necessary for the enforcement of concussion protocols. A brief review of the history of concussions in sport is followed by a discussion of necessary legal mandates to support the primacy of the athletic trainer serving as a health care provider in determining the return-to-play status of a student-athlete with concussion. Legal mandates focus on emerging statutory law and the employment relationship of the athletic trainer and the school. The ultimate goal is protection of student-athletes from the medical consequences associated with concussions.

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