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California Weighs Strict Laws To Protect Student Athletes With Concussions

Momentum for the Lystedt Law which prevents a concussed scholastic athlete to return to the game in which he or she receives a concussion continues to grow. California, often on the vanguard of American culture and society, has joined the movement to impose tough laws to protect young sports players from concussions.

California is considering new legislation and a proposal from the state’s high school sports federation that would mandate that physicians have a say before an injured can return to play, according to a story Friday in the San Bernardino County Sun.

The story,, says that only three other states have policies as strict as the one California is considering.

The legislation was proposed after the near-death of San Jose High Academy Football player Matt Blea, according to the story.

California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi has introduced two bills. The first would require coaches to become familiar with the symptoms of head injuries. The second would require a physician to give an OK before an injured player could get back on the field.

That second bill is similar to a proposal that the California Interscholastic Federation, which governs sports at about 1,500 schools, is considering.

Currently many California school districts mandate that injured student players must get a physician’s release before resuming play, according to the story. But not all schools have such a policy.

Zachery Lystedt was a high school football player in Washington who suffered a mild concussion early in a game but continued to play. Near the end of the game he suffered another concussion, which resulted in a severe brain injury. His injury became the impetus for a law in his home state of Washington prohibiting any return to play of a scholastic athlete after a concussion.

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