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Sports concussion regulations FAQs

Everything you need to know about the statewide sports concussion regulations

Table of Contents

About the regulations

What are the sports concussion regulations?

Passed in July 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s regulations (Presentation on Massachusetts Department of Public Health Regulations 105 CMR 201.000: Head Injuries and Concussions In Extracurricular Athletic Activities (PPT) | (DOC)) were created with the aim of reducing the risk of sports-related concussions and head injuries among student athletes participating in extracurricular school sports. The regulations outline the responsibilities that schools/school districts, coaches, school nurses, and others in the school community share in the prevention, training, and management of sports concussions.

With these regulations, schools will be able to develop effective policies and protocols for identifying a student athlete with a potential concussion, removing them from play, and ensuring that the student diagnosed with a concussion receives the appropriate care and treatment to return to learn and play.

Which schools are subject to the sports concussion regulations?

The regulations apply to all public middle and high schools and charter schools serving grades six through high school graduation, as well as all other schools subject to the official rules of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). However, even if your school is not an MIAA member, you may still decide that you wish to adopt the approach promoted by the regulations for the safety and well-being of your student athlete

Who is responsible for implementing the school’s sports concussion polices?

The superintendent or head master, principal, or school leader, should designate the person responsible for the implementation of the school’s policies which could be either the athletic director or other school personnel with administrative authority

What sports and activities are covered under these regulations?

All interscholastic athletics are deemed extracurricular athletic activities. These include but are not limited to:

Alpine and Nordic skiing and snowboarding, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country track, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, horseback riding, ice hockey, lacrosse, marching band, rifle, rugby, skating, soccer, softball, squash, swimming and diving, tennis, track (indoor and outdoor), ultimate frisbee, water polo, and wrestling.

What is meant by “extracurricular activities”?

Extracurricular activities are any organized school sponsored athletic activities which generally occur outside of school instructional hours under the direction of a coach, athletic director, or marching band leader. Bands that are not considered a marching band are not covered under the regulations.

Annual Training requirements for school staff, parents, and students

What is the annual training?

The purpose of the annual training is to ensure that those in the school community involved in extracurricular athletic activities know the signs and symptoms of a concussion and how to respond when a student athlete endures a concussion. The Department requires that school personnel, student athletes, and parents complete the annual training every year to understand their roles in creating a safe and healthy environment for student athletes.

Who is required to complete the annual training?

The following people are required to take the annual training:

  • Coaches
  • *Certified athletic trainers
  • Trainers
  • School and team physicians
  • School nurses
  • Athletic directors
  • Game officials, including referees and umpires
  • Directors responsible for a school marching band
  • Volunteers
  • Students who participate in an extracurricular athletic activity; and
  • Parents of a student who participates in an extracurricular athletic activity;

Other school personnel, such as classroom teachers, physical education teachers and guidance counselors, are not required to complete the annual training. They are only required to complete the annual training if they are involved in extracurricular athletic activities. However, if a school or school district chooses to offer the annual training to classroom teachers, physical education teachers, guidance counselors, or other school personnel, the school district or school at minimum should offer one of the annual trainings approved by the Department as specified on the Department's website.

*Certified athletic trainers are also required to take the clinical training. Please see the “Clinical Training” section for more information.

How can school staff, volunteers, parents, and students complete the annual training?

Online, print, and in-person annual trainings can be found on the DPH Concussion Trainings webpage under “DPH approved annual training for school staff.” Schools can choose to provide the annual training in a pre-season meeting for parents and students.

Schools may use the agenda and attendance roster as a record of verification for participants who are trained in this type of group setting. Alternatively, schools may use DPH-approved written training materials to meet the annual training requirement. The versions for parents and students are available in English and Spanish. If schools distribute these training materials to parents and students at a pre-season meeting, all parents and students should be asked to sign an acknowledgement verifying that they have reviewed the written materials.

What should we do if a student turns in a concussion training form, but their parent does not? Can we let the student play?

The regulations require concussion training for parents and students. The policies that schools or school districts develop should address this situation, including procedures for outreach to parents who do not return completed forms required for students to participate in extracurricular sports.

Are parents who volunteer as coaches, game officials, or referees required to take the annual training?

Yes, all volunteers participating in school extracurricular athletic activities are also required to complete the annual training approved by the Department found on the Department’s website every year. These volunteers must provide independent verification of completion of the training requirement to the school or school districts.

Clinical Training requirements for clinicians and certified athletic trainers

What is the clinical training?

The purpose of the clinical training is to equip clinicians and certified athletic trainers with the strategies to assess, diagnose, and provide medical clearance to a student athlete with a concussion. The Department requires that those who provide medical clearance for student athletes must complete a Department-approved clinical training in concussion assessment and management or have received an equivalent training as part of their licensure or continuing education. By completing the clinical training, clinicians and certified athletic trainers will be able to provide the necessary guidance and safety recommendations for student athletes to return to play after recovering from a concussion.

Who is required to complete the clinical training?

The following individuals must take the clinical training in order to authorize a student to return to play:

  • Licensed physician;
  • Licensed athletic trainer in consultation with a licensed physician;
  • Licensed nurse practitioner in consultation with licensed physician;
  • Licensed physician assistant under the supervision of a licensed physician; or
  • Licensed neuropsychologist in coordination with the physician managing the student’s recovery

How can clinicians complete the clinical training to provide medical clearance?

Online and in-person clinical trainings are available on the DPH Concussion Trainings webpage under “DPH approved clinical training for clinicians providing medical clearance.”

Is the clinical training required for emergency room physicians, urgent care providers, and primary care providers?

Yes. A physician who diagnoses a symptomatic athlete with a concussion in an emergency department or urgent care setting is not able to provide medical clearance unless they examine the athlete again when they have completed the graduated re-entry plan and is symptom-free. In most cases, ER physicians should refer the student with a concussion to their primary care physician or to a concussion specialist for follow-up treatment and medical clearance.

School-based Sports Concussion Policy

When and how often are schools expected to update their policies on sports concussion?

The school or school district shall provide the Department of Public Health with an affirmation, also known as a Letter of Affirmation, on school or school district letterhead that it has reviewed and updated its policies in accordance with the regulations by September 30th, every two years on the odd numbered year for review or revision of its policies.

How can I find the Department of Public Health’s policies on sport concussion care and management?

Our policies called Head Strong: Guidance for Implementing the Massachusetts Regulations on Head Injuries and Concussions in School Athletics (PDF) | (DOC) can be found at Head injury and concussion information for schools, school staff, coaches, athletic trainers, and volunteers under “Additional materials: guidance for schools.” This document lists the components that should be included in school sports concussion policies and provides examples from other schools’ policies.

What are the penalties if the school or school district fails to enforce its sports concussion policy? What are the penalties if a school’s coach, certified athletic trainer, school physician, athletic director, or school nurse fails to enforce the school’s policy on sports concussion?

The regulations 105 CMR 201.006(A)(17) state, “Penalties, including but not limited to personnel sanctions and forfeiture of games, for failure to comply with provisions of the school district’s or school’s policy.” Each school district should delineate what penalties they will have in place for failure to comply with the school or school district’s policy. This should include penalties such as forfeiture of the game (i.e., players do not have current physical examinations, failure of a coach to remove a player with a suspected concussion from the game, coaches’ unwillingness to comply with any aspect of the regulations) and when other penalties will be invoked. The school or school district’s policies and procedures shall be made available to the Department of Public Health and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education upon request.

Reporting and record keeping

What kind of reports are schools required to submit to Department of Public Health per the regulations?

All schools subject to the regulations must provide the following two reports to the Department of Public Health:

Year end reporting form

Every year by August 31st, schools must report the following information to the Department of Public Health:

  • Total Number of Report of Head Injury Forms received in the School Year
  • Whether or not Report of Head Injury Forms are required of student athletes only or all students
  • The number of Report of Head Injury Forms for injuries that occurred during school sports

Learn more about the Year End Reporting Form at Head injury and concussion information for schools, school staff, coaches, athletic trainers, and volunteers under “Year End Reporting Form.” These forms are updated annually and include other questions that can inform programming and policy to reduce concussions, which are not required by the regulations.

Letter of affirmation

The school or school district shall provide the Department of Public Health with an affirmation on school or school district letterhead that it has reviewed and updated its policies in accordance with the regulations by September 30th, every two years on the odd numbered year for review or revision of its policies.

Learn more about the Letter of Affirmation at Head injury and concussion information for schools, school staff, coaches, athletic trainers, and volunteers under “Letter of Affirmation.”

What kind of records related to extracurricular sports concussions must schools maintain? How long should schools maintain these records?

In accordance with the regulations (105 CMR 201.016), schools shall maintain the following records for three years or at a minimum until the student graduates:

  • Verifications of completion of annual training and receipt of materials;
  • Department Pre-participation Forms, or school-based equivalents;
  • Department Report of Head Injury Forms, or school-based equivalents;
  • Department Medical Clearance and Authorization Forms, or school-based equivalents; and
  • Graduated re-entry plans for return to full academic and extracurricular athletic activities.

Schools are not required to submit these records to the Department of Public Health. However, the regulations (105 CMR 201.016) state that the school shall make these records available to the Department of Public Health and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon request or in connection with any inspection or program review.

Who is responsible for keeping these records related to extracurricular sports concussions at the school? Who is responsible for the follow-up on the concussion forms and process?

The regulations (105 CMR 201.015) state that the school nurse is responsible for maintaining the following in the student’s health record:

  • Pre-participation Forms, or school-based equivalents, and
  • Report of Head Injury Forms, or school-based equivalents

The athletic director is responsible for ensuring that all students are meeting the physical examination requirements consistent with 105 CMR 200.000: Physical Examination of School Children prior to participation in any extracurricular activity.

How should schools maintain these records? Is it part of the student record or is it part of the health record?

It is a matter of school policy to determine if the concussion records are kept in the student record or health record.

With whom can information concerning an athlete’s history of head injury and concussions, graduated re-entry plan, and authorization to return to play be shared?

Informal collaboration occurs on a temporary, as-needed basis for information exchange, as when the school nurse or athletic trainer informs (while adhering to protocols for confidentiality) the physical education teacher that a particular student may not participate in athletic activities because of a recent injury.1 There may be circumstances in which there is a need to share information in the student health record with authorized school personnel who are providing services to the student — either to enhance the student’s educational progress or protect their safety or well-being. For example, staff may need to be alerted of a student’s signs or symptoms of a medical problem on a need to know basis and offered a course of action. Information should be shared with the athletic trainer, if on staff, to facilitate and coordinate care of a student athlete. Type of disclosure should be made only to authorized school personnel who work directly with the student in an instructive (academic or athletic), administrative, or diagnostic capacity. Authorized school personnel should be instructed not to re-disclose the information. Individual student cases should not under any circumstances be discussed in public areas such as hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, etc. If there is any question about the sensitivity of the information, the school nurse or athletic trainer should seek the permission of the parent/guardian and student, if appropriate, prior to disclosure to authorized school personnel. Ultimately, however, federal regulations permit information in the student health record to be seen by authorized school personnel on a need to know basis, and the basis for such sharing seems even more compelling when necessary to protect the well-being or safety of the student.2 (See Chapter 2 of the Comprehensive School Health Manual for further discussion of this issue). There may be times when a school nurse has the legal obligation to disclose health or related information to protect a student’s health or safety. Public policy requires the protection of a patient’s right to privacy by medical professionals, unless there is an immediate threat or serious harm to the student or others.3

1 Massachusetts Department of Public Health Comprehensive School Health Manual,2007, p. 2-7

2 Massachusetts Department of Public Health Comprehensive School Health Manual, 2007, p. 2-36

3 Massachusetts Department of Public Health Comprehensive School Health Manual, 2007, p. 2-38.

School staff responsibilities by title

What are the responsibilities of the school Athletic Directors regarding implementing these regulations?

Per the regulations (105 CMR 201.012), the Athletic Director shall:

  • Participate in the development and biannual review of the policies and procedures for the prevention and management of sports-related head injuries within the school district or school;
  • Complete the annual training;
  • Be responsible for (unless school policies and procedures provide otherwise) ensuring that the training requirements for staff, parents, volunteers, coaches, and students are met, recorded, and records are maintained;
  • Ensure that all students meet the physical examination requirements consistent with 105 CMR 200.000: Physical Examination of School Children prior to participation in any extracurricular athletic activity;
  • Ensure that all students participating in extracurricular athletic activities have completed and submitted Pre-participation Forms, or school-based equivalents, prior to participation each season;
  • Ensure that student Pre-participation Forms, or school-based equivalents, are reviewed by coaches so as to identify students who are at greater risk of repeated head injuries;
  • Ensure that Report of Head Injury Forms, or school-based equivalents, are completed by the parent or coach and reviewed by the coach, school nurse, certified athletic trainer, and school physician;
  • Ensure that athletes are prohibited from engaging in any unreasonably dangerous athletic technique that endangers the health or safety of an athlete, and
  • Report annual statistics to the Department of Public Health.

What are the responsibilities of the School Nurses regarding implementing these regulations?

Per the regulations (105 CMR 201.015), the School Nurse shall:

  • Participate in the development and biannual review of the policies and procedures for the prevention and management of sports-related head injuries within the school district or school;
  • Complete the annual training;
  • Review or arrange for the school physician to review completed Pre-participation Forms, or school-based equivalents, that indicate a history of head injury and follow up with parents as needed prior to the student's participation in extracurricular athletic activities;
  • Review, or arrange for the school physician to review, Report of Head Injury Forms, or school-based equivalents, and follow up with the coach and parent as needed
  • Maintain Pre-participation Forms and Report of Head Injury Forms, or school-based equivalents, in the student's health record;
  • Participate in the graduated re-entry planning for students who have been diagnosed with a concussion to discuss any necessary accommodations or modifications;
  • Monitor recuperating students with head injuries during the school day on a regular basis and collaborate with teachers to ensure that the graduated re-entry plan for return to full academic and extracurricular athletic activities required by 105 CMR 201.010(E) is being followed; and
  • Provide ongoing educational materials on concussion prevention and management to teachers, staff, and students.

What are the responsibilities of the Coaches regarding implementation of the regulations?

Per the regulations (105 CMR 201.013), the coach shall:

  • Complete the annual training;
  • Review Pre-participation Forms, or school-based equivalents, so as to identify those athletes who are at greater risk for repeated head injuries;
  • Complete a Report of Head Injury Form, or school-based equivalent, upon identification of a student with a head injury or suspected concussion;
  • Receive and review forms that are completed by a parent which report a head injury during the sports season, but outside of an extracurricular athletic activity, so as to identify those athletes who are at greater risk for repeated head injuries;
  • Transmit promptly required Department of Public Health forms to the school nurse or athletic trainer for review and maintenance in the student’s health record, unless otherwise specified in school policies and procedures;
  • Teach techniques aimed at minimizing sports-related head injury;
  • Discourage and prohibit athletes from engaging in any unreasonably dangerous athletic technique that endangers the health or safety of an athlete;
  • Identify athletes with head injuries or suspected concussions that occur in play or practice and remove them from play, and
  • Communicate promptly with the parent of any student removed from practice or competition and with the athletic director and school nurse.

What are the responsibilities of the Athletic Trainer regarding implementation of the regulations?

Per the regulations (105 CMR 201.014), the Licensed Athletic Trainer shall:

  • Participate in the development and biannual review of the policies and procedures for the prevention and management of sports-related head injuries within the school district or school;
  • Complete the annual and clinical training;
  • Review information from Pre-participation Forms, or school-based equivalents, which indicate a history of head injury and from Report of Head Injury Forms, or school-based equivalents, to identify students who are at greater risk for repeated head injuries;
  • Identify athletes with head injuries or suspected concussions that occur in practice or competition and removing them from play; and
  • Participate, if available, in the graduated re-entry planning and implementation for students who have been diagnosed with a concussion.

Parent and student responsibilities

What should we do if a student does not turn in their pre-participation permission form seeking information about their past head injuries as required by the law?

You should not permit the student to participate in practice or competition until they submit the form. The head injury policies that schools or school districts develop should consider how to respond to this situation as they would to other situations when students or parents have not submitted required forms or permission slips.

Our school already has a pre-participation permission form that students and parents have to sign. Can we add the pre-participation information required by DPH to our form so we only have to collect one?

Yes. Schools and school districts have the flexibility to use their own forms as “school-based equivalents,” as long as they include all of the information required on the Department forms. Schools or school districts are encouraged to make use of this opportunity to streamline information collection and to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.

If a student turns in a pre-participation form for fall sports, do they have to turn in another one before the winter or spring season?

Yes. The law and the regulations require that before the start of every sports season, students and parents must complete the pre-participation form or school-based equivalent.

One of my athletes reported a history of multiple concussions on their pre-participation form. Should I let them play this season?

Evidence indicates that youth who have suffered one or more concussions are more likely to suffer a subsequent one. The decision on whether a student who has had multiple concussions should play a sport where there is a risk of another concussion is a complicated one. It should be made only after consultation with the student’s primary care provider; the sports medicine or concussion specialist, if involved; the neuropsychologist, if involved; the appropriate school athletic staff, and the parent. Options may include switching positions, limiting contact in practices, or changing sports altogether to minimize the risk of another injury. The focus should be protecting the health and safety of the student and avoiding long-term consequences that can occur from repeated concussions.

What if a student suffers a head injury outside of school-sponsored extracurricular athletics – do the parent and student have to let the school know?

Yes. Parents must submit a Report of Head Injury Form, or school-based equivalent to the coach, school nurse, athletic trainer, or other school staff designated by school policy when their child suffers from a head injury outside of a school-sponsored extracurricular athletic activity. The school nurse and athletic staff always need to know if it safe for the student to participate in their extracurricular athletic activities.

Exclusion from play

Who should fill out the DPH Report of Head Injury Form?

If the injury occurred during extracurricular sports, the coach, athletic trainer, or their designee should fill out the Report of Head Injury Form (PDF) | (DOC). It should be returned to the athletic director or staff member designated by the school and reviewed by the school nurse or athletic trainer. However if a child sustains a head injury outside of school, the parent should fill out the Report of Head Injury and submit it to the school athletic department and school nurse to ensure it is safe for the student to return to play. This form should be kept on file at the school and not returned to Department.

What happens if there is disagreement among the coach, certified athletic trainer, parent and the game official regarding whether a player should be removed from a game after a head injury?

In accordance with the regulations, coaches and certified athletic trainers have responsibilities for identifying players with head injuries or suspected concussions and removing them from play. In the event of a disagreement among a coach, certified athletic trainer, a parent, or with a game official, MIAA Rules and Regulations Governing Athletics state that the athletic trainer or other school medical staff has the final say on medical decisions. The governing rule should always be “when in doubt, sit them out,” and the focus should always be the health and safety of the player.

Graduated re-entry

What is a graduated re-entry plan?

A graduated re-entry plan supports the student’s return to academic activities, and eases the stress of making up past work while engaged in their present work. This plan is developed by the school staff, such as the student’s teachers, guidance counselor, school nurse, athletic trainer, neuropsychologist (if available), parents, and medical provider. The plan must include several components including step-by-step instructions and details for students, parents, and school personnel, time frames for physical and cognitive rest throughout the recovery, and guidance on graduated return to extracurricular athletic activities and classroom studies. An individualized and flexible graduated re-entry plan is strongly recommended because symptoms vary from student to student and often change in type and severity throughout recovery.

If a student has a concussion, does the student have to complete a graduated return to play plan before returning to full participation in their sport?

Yes. The regulations require that if a student is removed from play due to a head injury or suspected concussion, they must receive medical clearance to return to play. This medical clearance can only be provided after the student completes a graduated re-entry plan for return to full academic and athletic activity and is symptom-free at rest. This plan must be developed by the student’s teachers, guidance counselor, school nurse, certified athletic trainer (if available or involved), parent, and the primary care provider or the physician who is managing the student’s recovery.

Do you have any materials on developing graduated re-entry plans for students?

Yes, we have a booklet entitled “Returning to School After Concussion: Guidelines for Massachusetts Schools,” and it can be downloaded from: Returning to School After Concussion: Guidelines for Massachusetts Schools. It includes school accommodations for post-concussion effects, how to establish a graduated re-entry plan to school, and tools and templates for schools to use.

Can a school shorten the time required for the student to complete their graduated return to play plan in order to get them back to extracurricular athletic activities more quickly?

No, the graduated return to play plan should not be shortened. The regulations under 105 CMR 201.010 (E) specifies the components that should be included in the graduated re-entry plan for return to full academic and extracurricular activities. We would never want students returned to unsafe situations when their brains are still healing. We recommend the following six steps for graduated return to play plan:

Stage Aim Activity Goal of Each Step
1 Symptom-limited activity Daily activities that do not provoke symptoms. Gradual reintroduction of work/school activities.
2 Light aerobic exercise Walking or stationary cycling at slow to medium pace. No resistance training. Increase heart rate.
3 Sport-specific exercise Running or skating drills. No head impact activities. Add movement.
4 Non-contact training drills Harder training drills (for example, passing drills). May start progressive resistance training. Exercise, coordination and increased thinking.
5 Full contact practice Following medical clearance, participate in normal training activities. Restore confidence and assess functional skills by coaching staff.
6 Return to sport Normal game play.  

What if a student is returning to school on a modified schedule but still has concussion symptoms — can they start a graduated return to play plan?

No. Students who still have symptoms should not begin athletic activity. The graduated re-entry plan for return to play should begin only after a student is completely symptom-free at rest. If a student is still having symptoms related to their most recent head injury or concussion, they are not ready to begin a graduated re-entry plan.

In the past, we have had situations where a student’s doctor has cleared them to return to sports, but the school staff noted that the student still had symptoms. In such a situation, who has the final say regarding whether a student can return to play?

In this situation, the school has the final say. Whether a student may participate in a given extracurricular activity is a privilege that may be granted or withheld by a school based on individual circumstances. If these situations arise, the school staff should communicate that the student is not symptom-free to the healthcare provider who provided the medical clearance. It is possible that the physician was not aware of the student’s symptoms when they gave the clearance. If the athlete still has symptoms, the athlete should not return to play. Medical clearance is meant to be provided only after a student has completed their graduated re-entry plan, so we hope that these situations will be rare.

How do we handle students who have had a head injury that do not play extracurricular sports but do participate in physical education class and want to play?

Students with a diagnosed concussion should follow the return to play protocol for sports but modified to fit the activities of the physical education class at the time. If they are doing non-contact activities (i.e., no head trauma risk) they should be allowed to participate because such activities would fit into the first stages of the gradual return to play protocol. If they were playing a contact sport such as basketball, they would need to do modified activity until they reached stage six of the recommended graduated return to play plan.

Medical clearance

How will clinicians who provide medical clearance verify that they have received DPH approved clinical training?

The Post Sports-Related Head Injury Medical Clearance and Authorization Form (PDF) | (DOC) requires written confirmation that the clinician has completed a DPH-approved clinical training. This form is not complete without the medical provider’s verification of completing a clinical training.

What if the school has received a student’s medical clearance on the DPH Medical Clearance and Authorization Form, but the clinician did not verify that they had completed the required DPH-approved clinical training in management and assessment of head injuries and concussions?

Clinicians must affirm that they have completed one of the DPH-approved required trainings or received equivalent training. If no affirmation is received, the medical clearance is not valid.

What is meant by “return to cognitive activity” before medical clearance?

The regulations (105 CMR 201.010(E)(3)) state, “The student must be symptom-free at rest, during exertion, and with cognitive activity in order to complete the graduated re-entry plan and be medically cleared to play…” The DPH Clinical Concussion Expert Group provided the following clarification: “The student diagnosed with a concussion must be completely free of symptoms relating to the most recent injury (i.e., new) at rest in order to begin graduated re-entry to extracurricular activities. The student must then be free of related symptoms during exertion and routine academics in order to complete the graduated re-entry plan and be medically cleared to play.”

The term “symptom-free” refers to a condition where the student is free of all symptoms directly attributable to the most recent concussion. These symptoms may include blurry or double vision, headaches, confusion, balance problems, nausea, vomiting, difficulty with memory or concentration, dizziness, or feeling sluggish or foggy. The term “with cognitive activity” refers to a condition where the student has returned to routine academic activities with no concussion symptoms or new concussion-related academic accommodations.

Does DPH permit a student’s medical clearance from a medical provider to be written on a note or prescription pad?

No, medical clearance should be reported either on the DPH Medical Clearance and Authorization form or school-based equivalent. In order to provide school athletic and health staff with the information they need to monitor an athlete’s recovery, health care providers should use the DPH Post Sports-Related Head Injury Medical Clearance and Authorization Form (PDF) | (DOC) or a school-based equivalent that includes the same information.

Additional information

Who may we contact for more information about implementation of the sports concussion law and regulations in Massachusetts schools?

Questions can be addressed either by email or telephone to:

Where can I find sports concussion materials?

Our website at Sports Related Concussions and Head Injuries has information on trainings, required forms, educational materials, and resources. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a robust sports concussion website with trainings and educational materials that can be accessed at CDC's HEADS UP.

Does DPH have concussion materials in other languages?

Yes. The required Pre-participation Head Injury and Concussion Reporting Form and Report of Head Injury Forms are available in Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Somali, Arabic, French and Haitian Creole and can be found at: Required forms for schools with extracurricular sports activities. The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) has a free online training, “Concussion in Sports” available in English and Spanish. In addition, the DPH Concussion Trainings webpage has written concussion materials in Spanish under “DPH approved annual training for school staff.” You can also find concussion fact sheets for parents in Spanish at CDC’s HEADS UP to Youth Sports: Parents.

We would like to develop our own annual training and/or clinical training. How do we get approval from DPH to provide these trainings?

DPH is interested in approving other annual training and clinical training programs. You can find the Training Criteria Application (PDF) | (DOC) and Criteria and Application Procedure for Concussion Training for Clinicians LAS (PDF) | (DOC) applications on the DPH sports concussion website under “Concussion Trainings.” For both the annual training and clinical training, all materials should be submitted with four hard copies to the following address:

Steven Smyth
Division of Violence and Injury Prevention, 4th Floor
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02108

phone: (617) 624-5490
fax: (617) 624-5075

Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Applicants will be contacted with any questions or with notification of approval or non-approval by DPH. Applicants should expect that the review process will take a minimum of eight weeks.

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