As concern over sports-related injuries increase across the nation, Colorado is taking action. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law on Tuesday requiring football coaches of all public and private middle schools, junior high schools, high schools and recreational youth sports to take online training to effectively recognize symptoms of a concussion. The law applies to volunteer little league and Pop Warner football coaches as well. The purpose of the law is to prevent and minimize risks associated with concussions for young athletes, predominantly between the ages of 11 and 18.
If an athlete is deemed to have a concussion, the coach is required to bench that player. The player may not participate in any games or practices until he or she has received medical clearance from a physician or a nurse.
Other states require full time coaches be trained to recognize concussions, but the Colorado law extends to volunteers and requires official medical clearance making it the strictest in the nation.