In September 2011 a new state law went into effect that requires all coaches and officials involved with all youth sports to be trained in concussion awareness, safety and protection. Minnesota is one of 33 states that have adopted laws relating to concussion safety in youth sports. Most of these laws are brand new — 28 new states added concussion laws in 2010 or 2011.
If you’re interested, the safekids.org website has great information on what’s happening in each state across the U.S. Minnesota’s law requires coaches to complete an online course developed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The youth sports programs of Star of the North Games, fall under the new Minnesota law. If you’d like to read the text of the law you can click on the link for Minnesota Statue 121A.37.
All youth coaches will need to complete an online training course. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a free, online course entitled “Concussion Training for Coaches (and referees)”. Click on the link to go to the free course. It takes about 30 minutes, and it contains some great information. Once you complete the course, the certification applies for three years.
All youth coaches in Star of the North Games will need to verify that you have completed a concussion training course before you’ll be allowed to complete your team’s registration. For online registrants, it’s easy. Just check a box and move on.
The vast majority of SOTN coaches will have already completed the training earlier in the year, by your sport or referee association, or to register for leagues and tournaments in the winter and spring. If you’ve completed the training already, you’re golden with us. Also, if you have completed a different training course that is equivalent to the C.D.C course, you can go ahead and check the box.
SOTN fully supports this new law as an important step to address a significant health issue in youth sports. Does this require a little extra effort for coaches to comply with the new law? Yes. Is the extra effort worth it? Yes again!