Friday, July 28, 2017

Concussion testing no longer mandatory for Howard County public school athletes

For the first time since 2010, student athletes participating in high school athletics in Howard County this fall will not be required to participate in ImPACT concussion baseline testing.
This testing will now be conducted on a voluntary basis, still available to any athletes who choose to participate in the program — which is designed to provide tangible data to help determine when it is safe for an athlete to return to play in the event of a head injury.
Howard County has long been considered ahead of the curve in concussion prevention and detection. Former county athletic coordinator Mike Williams began counting concussions in 2007, documenting 72 that school year.
Then prior to the fall 2010 season, with certified athletic trainers in place at all 12 public high schools and the ImPACT concussion management system already adopted, the county made it mandatory for athletes participating in contact sports to undergo a baseline test prior to tryouts. The testing was optional for non-contact sports such as cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track and tennis.
Initially, Howard County was the only county in the state making this concussion testing mandatory. In 2011,Carroll County followed suit in requiring students playing a contact sport to take a memory and mental agility test that could be used as a comparison point in an instance where a concussion was suspected...

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