A Virginia state law aimed at improving the safety of high school athletes by educating parents, coaches, and students about the dangers of brain injuries has helped alleviate the problem, but many experts believe there’s no way to accurately determine how well the law works.
The law was enacted in 2010 and calls for school districts to create and implement plans to better protect athletes from head injuries.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Chesterfield County School system reported only 180 concussions during the 2011 school year. This was a significantly lower number than years before, which has been a trend in other counties across the state.
Many experts say the numbers don’t paint an accurate portrait of the true number of traumatic brain injuries to high school athletes in the area, as the law only applies to sports played in connection to a school and not extra-curricular organizations—which many student athletes also participate in.
To correct the problem, lawmakers are working on a bill for the next General Assembly session that would improve data by expanding the law to cover recreational sports leagues as well.
At Geoff McDonald and Associates, we are hopeful that an expansion of the law will be accepted to better protect the young athletes in the Richmond area from the dangers concussions and traumatic brain injuries can pose.