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Recent Regulations on Head Injuries and Concussions in Extracurricular Athletic Activities

In response to recent legislation on sports-related head injuries, the Department of Public Health developed regulations that were promulgated on June 24, 2010.

Please see links below to view these regulations. There are also links to forms that schools may use for documenting a student athlete's concussion history prior to participation in extracurricular athletic activities and during a sports season as well as forms for use by those who clear students to return to play. Additional links are provided to those training programs that have been approved by the Department to meet the requirements of the regulations.

New Training Requirement

See updated Commissioner Guidance to Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Athletic Trainers, and Neuropsychologists Providing Medical Clearance for Return to Play for Students With Sports-related Head Injuries Effective September 2013.

MDPH Approved Annual Training for School Staff

Approved Annual Trainings/Providers-For coaches, school nurses, school and team physicians, certified athletic trainers, athletic directors, trainers, marching band directors, student athletes and their parents:

The training programs listed below meet the requirements of the regulations.

  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention Heads Up Concussion in Youth Sports On-Line Training Program (available online and free of charge)
  • National Federation of State High School Associations Concussion in Sports - What you Need to Know (available online and free of charge)
  • The following programs have been approved by MDPH to provide the annual training that has met the requirements of the regulations:
    • Sports Legacy Institute
      PO Box 181225
      Boston, MA 02118
      phone: 781-262-3323
      Training Directors: Dr. Robert Cantu and Christopher Nowinski
    • Boston University Continuing Medical Education
      72 East Concord Street, A402
      Boston, MA 02118
      phone: 617-638-4605
      Training Director: Dr. Robert Cantu
    • Brain Injury Center, Boston Children's Hospital
      300 Longwood Avenue
      Boston, MA 02115
      Tel: 617-355-2490
      Training Director: Michelle Parker, RN, MS, PNP
    • Southcoast Hospitals Group
      480 Hawthorn St.
      North Dartmouth, MA 02747
      Tel: 508-910-3424
      Training Director: Kathleen Thornton, MS ATC, CSCS, NASM-PES
  • DPH is interested in approving other programs to meet the annual training requirements of the regulations. The following link describes the training criteria and application process for approval:
    Criteria and Application Procedure  pdf format of Criteria and Application Procedure
doc format of                             Criteria and Application Procedure

MDPH Approved Clinical Training for Clinicians Providing Medical Clearance

The regulations require by September 2013, physicians, nurse practitioners, certified athletic trainers, and neuropsychologists providing medical clearance for students with sports related head injuries to return to play shall verify that they have received Department-approved training in traumatic head injury assessment and management or have received equivalent training as part of their licensure or continuing education.

The bullet below for the CDC training used in conjunction with the PowerPoint slides on the Massachusetts head injury regulations have been approved by MDPH. Both the CDC training and the power point slides must be completed to comply with the clinical training requirements of the regulations.

In addition, the clinical training programs listed below meets the requirements of the regulations for clinical training:

DPH is inviting programs to apply to provide training for clinicians to meet the clinical training requirements of the sports concussion regulations. This training will be designed particularly for those providing medical clearance for return to play: physicians, certified athletic trainers, nurse practitioners and neuropsychologists. The following link describes the training criteria and application process:

Additional Materials: Guidance for Schools

Additional Resources

This program is part of the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention.


This information is provided by the Injury Prevention and Control Program within the Department of Public Health .