Auburn Riverside defenders bring down Kennedy Catholic’s Junior Alexander during North Puget Sound League Mountain Division action in Oct. 2018 at Auburn Memorial Stadium. Photo by Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Auburn Riverside defenders bring down Kennedy Catholic’s Junior Alexander during North Puget Sound League Mountain Division action in Oct. 2018 at Auburn Memorial Stadium. Photo by Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Lawmakers push concussion awareness and best practices in sports

SB 5238 requires University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center to compile research data

By Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

A website outlining concussions in lower-impact sports, best practices and research would be created under Senate Bill 5238, which was heard Feb. 18 in the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.

Prime sponsor Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, told a story about a friend who coaches girls youth soccer and had discussed the increase in head injuries in the sport. This bill is Carlyle’s solution to putting more information into the public sphere and tackling an issue he regrets not approaching earlier, according to his public testimony.

“We have great information, great people, and we are not doing a great job of getting that out there,” said Carlyle, who represents District 36.

SB 5238 requires University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center to compile research data and best practices concerning concussions in sports. It also requires the university to maintain a website with concussion-related information and resources. This information would include a set of best practices on topics like concussion recognition; parent, teacher and coach information; and information on concussions in non-high impact sports. The website would be created and maintained in conjunction with Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). The website creation, maintenance and marketing would cost $ 98,000 in this first biennium and $ 77,000 each following biennium, according to the fiscal note.

Ian Goodhew, director of government relations for UW Medicine, testified in support of the bill.

“There’s a long history to this issue in Washington state, one we should be very proud of,” he said.

In 2009, the Legislature passed the Zackery Lystedt Law requiring the approval of a health care provider for a young athlete to return to a game. Lystedt is a Tacoma High School graduate who suffered a traumatic brain injury playing football in 2006.

The Lystedt Law has since been, in some form, adopted by the majority of states and focuses on return-to-play requirements. SB 5238 adds further previsions to this law.

In January 2018, Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinski committed suicide. He was later found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head.

According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, players from 147 college football programs have been diagnosed with CTE. A recent study, featured in Time Magazine, found that the earlier onset of symptoms associated with persistent head injuries is associated with the age in which an individual begins playing tackle football.

Studies on CTE are not limited to football, however, and fewer studies have been done on other sports.

The bill received support from Seattle Children’s Hospital, Washington State Athletic Trainers Association and Washington Education Association, among others.

More in Sports

Hazen’s comeback nets first win

For the Reporter Hazen and Kentlake traded goals in the first half… Continue reading

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Gloria Gonzalez

Lindbergh High School’s Gloria Gonzalez, girls track and field, was selected as… Continue reading

Rough night for Hazen soccer

The following was submitted by Hazen soccer: Redmond’s Mustangs have a returning… Continue reading

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Yesmin Rivera

Hazen High School’s Yesmin Rivera, soccer, was selected as the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Auburn Riverside defenders bring down Kennedy Catholic’s Junior Alexander during North Puget Sound League Mountain Division action in Oct. 2018 at Auburn Memorial Stadium. Photo by Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Lawmakers push concussion awareness and best practices in sports

SB 5238 requires University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center to compile research data

Patriot snags No. 1 spot in 500 yard free

26 swimmers from Liberty and Lindbergh High Schools place at state tournament.

Lindbergh senior Apelu Sellem wrestlers against Terrell Underwood from Toppenish during the quarterfinals of the 2019 Mat Classic. Sellem won the match by decision, advancing to the semifinals round. Photo by Vicki Maddy
Wrestlers compete at supersized state meet

Two Eagles placed among best in state.

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Lindbergh Boys Swim

Lindbergh High School’s boys swim team was selected as the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Senior guard Isaiah Little drives past his defender in the first half of Thursday’s win over Foss. Photo by Sarah Brenden
Renton boys basketball advances to regionals

The Renton Indians boys basketball advanced to the district semifinals. The boys… Continue reading

Max Whitney earns the fall in his 160 pound match. Courtesy photo
Highlanders wrestling finsihes fourth at tourney

The following information was provided by Rory Magana, Hazen wrestling coach: Hazen… Continue reading

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Minh Le

Renton High School’s Minh Le, wrestling, was selected as the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Eagles win league meet

The following was submitted from Roger Miron, Lindbergh swim coach: The Lindbergh… Continue reading