A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. In school aged children, many of these brain injuries can occur during a sports practice or event.
As of 2011, Massachusetts has required public schools and other schools subject to the rules of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) for grades 6-12 with extracurricular sports to develop an interscholastic head injury safety program. Schools must develop standardized procedures regarding the management and return to play decisions regarding students who incur head injuries while involved in extracurricular athletic activities in order to protect their health and safety.
The links below provide the regulatory guidance to schools, required forms, and required trainings.
Regulations on Head Injuries and Concussions in Extracurricular Activities
The regulations below, Head Injuries and Concussions in Extracurricular Athletic Activities provides explicit guidance to school administrators, athletic directors, coaches, certified athletic trainers, medical providers, school nurses, parents and students on their roles in implementing sports concussion management programs in their schools.
Required Forms for Schools with Extracurricular Sports Activities
The Pre-participation form must be filled out by the student and parent prior to the beginning of every sports season and reviewed by the coach and school nurse to ensure that it is safe for the student to play in school sports.
- Pre-participation Head Injury/Concussion Reporting Form For Extracurricular Activities
The Report of Head Injury Form should be filled out whenever a student has had a head injury in school sports or outside of school sports.
- Report of a Head Injury During Sports Season Form
The Post Sports-Related Head Injury Medical Clearance and Authorization Form should be filled out by a medical provider authorized to clear a student athletic diagnosed with a concussion to return to play.
- Post Sports-Related Head Injury Medical Clearance and Authorization Form
The Year End Reporting Form for Schools is required for all public schools and other schools subject to the rules of the MIAA with extracurricular sports grades 6-12 and should be submitted to the Department of Public Health annually by August 30.
The Year End Reporting Form for Schools for 2016-2017 is now Electronic! Please click the Checkbox Survey link below to submit your Year End Report for 2016-2017:
If you would prefer to fill out a paper form instead of the Electronic Survey for 2016-2017 please fill out the attached document, Year End Report for Schools 2016-2017, and follow the instructions of where to send it to.
Additional Materials: Guidance for Schools
- Head Strong: Guidance for Implementing Mass. Regulations on Head Injuries & Concussions in School Athletics
- Revised Update to Head Strong, Effective August 1, 2014
- Sports-related Head Injury Regulations Frequently Asked Questions
- Heads-Up: Information about Sports Concussions from CDC
- MDPH Guidance on 504 or IEP Plans for Students Returning to Academic Work
- Stop Addiction PDF Brochure
- Stop Addiction PDF Brochure - Spanish
The Sports-related Head Injury program in the Division of Violence Injury Prevention strives to educate parents, caregivers, and school staff about how to protect student safety while participating in extracurricular school sports. For more information, contact Linda Brown at 617-624-5432 or Linda.Brown@State.MA.US. Or visit the www.mass.gov/sportsconcussion.
This information is provided by the Injury Prevention and Control Program within the Department of Public Health.