Staff Report

Texas high school athletes who get a concussion during a game would not return to play until the next day at the earliest under new rules proposed by a medical panel of the University Interscholastic League on Tuesday.

Any return to play would have to be approved by a licensed health care professional.

If approved by the UIL and the state education commissioner, the change would end current rules that allow athletes to return if they have been symptom free for 15 minutes.

The UIL Medical Advisory Committee’s recommended amendments to the UIL Concussion Management Protocol include:

• A student-athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion must be evaluated by a licensed health care professional to determine if the student-athlete has sustained a concussion.

• If a licensed health care professional is not available, a supervising adult approved by the school district and who has appropriate training on concussion evaluation and management may evaluate student-athletes suspected of sustaining concussions.

• If a student-athlete sustains a concussion, he or she will not be allowed to return to play on the same day. Current guidelines stipulate that a student-athlete who sustains a concussion could return to play on the same day if the student was symptom free after 15 minutes of evaluation and testing.

• Return to play decisions will be made by a licensed health care professional, and after written clearance will follow a stepwise progression back to full participation.

• Any subsequent concussion sustained by a student-athlete will require further medical evaluation by a licensed health care professional, which could include a physical examination. Under the recommendation, written clearance by a licensed health care professional must be obtained for the student-athlete to return to practice or contest.

The Medical Advisory Committee serves as a permanent advisory committee to the UIL Legislative Council. The UIL Legislative Council and the Commissioner of Education must approve any amendments to the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. If passed, the approved recommendations would take effect in the 2011-12 school year.