On April 2, 2012, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 259, dubbed the Sidelined for Safety Act, in a ceremony at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Badger State became the 32nd state to enact a strong concussion safety law since May 2009.
- Broad coverage: the law covers any organized athletic activity in which the majority of the participants are under 19 years of age.
- Condition for participation: At the beginning of every athletic season, the person conducting the youth athletic activity must distribute a concussion and head injury information sheet to each person who will be coaching, and to each person participating, which must be signed by the coach and the athlete's parent or guardian in order to participate.
- Immediate removal from play. Any athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion or head injury must be immediately removed from the activity.
- Written clearance before return to play. The athlete may not participate in the youth athletic activity until evaluated by a health care provider who has been trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and head injuries and has received written clearance to participate.
- Limited immunity. A coach, official, or volunteer who fails to remove an athlete suspected of having sustained a head injury or concussion is immune from civil liability unless their conduct constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. The law does not create any liability for, or cause of action against, any person.
Designed to lessen risk of long-term injury or death
"We often hear about the effects of concussions on pro-athletes, like those that play here at Lambeau Field," Governor Walker said, in signing the bill into law. "And the reality is that it takes even longer for younger athletes to recover from this type of brain injury. If they suffer a second or third concussion before they have had time to heal properly the damages can be irreparable. The goal of this bill is to greatly lessen the risk of long-term injury or death."
Posted April 2, 2012