Illinois - Concussion/head injuries: Policy requirement

Area: 
Policy Or Plan Requirements
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law addresses concussions/return to play.

Illinois Compiled Statutes 105 ILCS 25/1.15 Mandatory online concussion certification

(a) An association or other entity that has, as one of its purposes, promoting, sponsoring, regulating, or in any manner providing for interscholastic athletics or any form of athletic competition among schools and students within this State shall develop an online certification for high school coaching personnel and athletic directors in concussion awareness and reduction of repetitive sub-concussive hits and concussions. The certification program shall be offered free of charge to member high schools. The program may be offered to non-member schools or athletic organizations for a fee determined by the association.

(b) On and after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly [P.A. 98–1011], online concussion certification is mandatory for all high school coaching personnel, including the head and assistant coaches, and the athletic directors. Coaching personnel and athletic directors hired before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly shall be certified within one year after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly. Coaching personnel and athletic directors hired on and after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly must be certified under this Section before the starting date of their position.

(c) The mandatory online certification program content shall be updated annually, include a video, and focus on, but not be limited to, the following topics:

  • (1) concussion awareness training that includes general comments about the subject of concussions, concussion recognition, best practices for avoiding concussions, an athlete’s removal from a game, and an athlete’s return to play; and
  • (2) repetitive sub-concussive head trauma awareness training that includes the potential long-term effects of sub-concussive head trauma and techniques to reduce its occurrence during practice and competitions.

(d) To pass the concussion certification required under this Section, coaching personnel and athletic directors shall review the association’s online material and demonstrate proficiency on the test developed by the association. The certification shall be renewed every 2 years.

(e) High school coaching personnel and athletic directors shall annually require their student athletes to watch the video in the online concussion certification program under subsection (c) of this Section to increase athlete awareness of the risk of concussions and sub-concussive hits to the head.

(f) High school coaching personnel and athletic directors shall encourage coaches of youth sports organizations to consider this certification.


Illinois Compiled Statutes 105 ILCS 5/22-80 Student athletes; concussions and head injuries.

(f) A student must be removed from an interscholastic athletics practice or competition immediately if one of the following persons believes the student might have sustained a concussion during the practice or competition:

  • (1) a coach;
  • (2) a physician;
  • (3) a game official;
  • (4) an athletic trainer;
  • (5) the student's parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student;
  • (6) the student; or
  • (7) any other person deemed appropriate under the school's return-to-play protocol.

(g) A student removed from an interscholastic athletics practice or competition under this Section may not be permitted to practice or compete again following the force or impact believed to have caused the concussion until:

  • (1) the student has been evaluated, using established medical protocols based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, by a treating physician (chosen by the student or the student's parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student), an athletic trainer, an advanced practice nurse, or a physician assistant;

  • (2) the student has successfully completed each requirement of the return-to-play protocol established under this Section necessary for the student to return to play;

  • (3) the student has successfully completed each requirement of the return-to-learn protocol established under this Section necessary for the student to return to learn;

  • (4) the treating physician, the athletic trainer, or the physician assistant has provided a written statement indicating that, in the physician's professional judgment, it is safe for the student to return to play and return to learn or thetreating advanced practice nurse has provided a written statement indicating that it is safe for the student to return to play and return to learn; and

  • (5) the student and the student's parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student:

    • (A) have acknowledged that the student has completed the requirements of the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols necessary for the student to return to play;

    • (B) have provided the treating physician's, athletic trainer's, advanced practice nurse's, or physician assistant's written statement under subdivision (4) of this subsection (g) to the person responsible for compliance with the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols under this subsection (g) and the person who has supervisory responsibilities under this subsection (g); and

    • (C) have signed a consent form indicating that the person signing:

      • (i) has been informed concerning and consents to the student participating in returning to play in accordance with the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols;

      • (ii) understands the risks associated with the student returning to play and returning to learn and will comply with any ongoing requirements in the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols; and

      • (iii) consents to the disclosure to appropriate persons, consistent with the federal Health Insurance Portabilityand Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-191), of the treating physician's, athletic trainer's, physician assistant's, or advanced practice nurse's written statement under subdivision (4) of this subsection (g) and, if any, the return-to-play and return-to-learn recommendations of the treating physician, the athletic trainer, the physician assistant, or the advanced practice nurse, as the case may be.


Illinois Compiled Statutes 105 ILCS 5/22-80 Student athletes; concussions and head injuries.

(f) A student must be removed from an interscholastic athletics practice or competition immediately if one of the following persons believes the student might have sustained a concussion during the practice or competition:

  • (1) a coach;
  • (2) a physician;
  • (3) a game official;
  • (4) an athletic trainer;
  • (5) the student's parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student;
  • (6) the student; or
  • (7) any other person deemed appropriate under the school's return-to-play protocol.

(g) A student removed from an interscholastic athletics practice or competition under this Section may not be permitted to practice or compete again following the force or impact believed to have caused the concussion until:

  • (1) the student has been evaluated, using established medical protocols based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, by a treating physician (chosen by the student or the student's parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student), an athletic trainer, an advanced practice nurse, or a physician assistant;

  • (2) the student has successfully completed each requirement of the return-to-play protocol established under this Section necessary for the student to return to play;

  • (3) the student has successfully completed each requirement of the return-to-learn protocol established under this Section necessary for the student to return to learn;

  • (4) the treating physician, the athletic trainer, or the physician assistant has provided a written statement indicating that, in the physician's professional judgment, it is safe for the student to return to play and return to learn or thetreating advanced practice nurse has provided a written statement indicating that it is safe for the student to return to play and return to learn; and

  • (5) the student and the student's parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student:

    • (A) have acknowledged that the student has completed the requirements of the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols necessary for the student to return to play;

    • (B) have provided the treating physician's, athletic trainer's, advanced practice nurse's, or physician assistant's written statement under subdivision (4) of this subsection (g) to the person responsible for compliance with the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols under this subsection (g) and the person who has supervisory responsibilities under this subsection (g); and

    • (C) have signed a consent form indicating that the person signing:

      • (i) has been informed concerning and consents to the student participating in returning to play in accordance with the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols;

      • (ii) understands the risks associated with the student returning to play and returning to learn and will comply with any ongoing requirements in the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols; and

      • (iii) consents to the disclosure to appropriate persons, consistent with the federal Health Insurance Portabilityand Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-191), of the treating physician's, athletic trainer's, physician assistant's, or advanced practice nurse's written statement under subdivision (4) of this subsection (g) and, if any, the return-to-play and return-to-learn recommendations of the treating physician, the athletic trainer, the physician assistant, or the advanced practice nurse, as the case may be.

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