Health, Science & The Environment
Thu March 14, 2013
Ohio Bills Aimed at Errors in Sports Safety Law
State lawmakers are working to correct a new Ohio law that would allow coaches and referees in youth sports leagues to be criminally prosecuted if they don't follow requirements regarding players' head injuries.
The new law takes effect in late April. It requires coaches, volunteers and officials in youth sports organizations to have players who show concussion-like symptoms sit out games or practices until they're checked and cleared by a doctor or licensed health care provider. Coaches would also need to know more about concussions.
A bill-writing error inadvertently imposes criminal penalties for violating the law.
The Ohio House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday to clarify the law before it takes effect. The Senate passed a separate bill.
Supporters say the law is intended to promote safety, not impose punishments.