Auburn Riverside defenders bring down Kennedy Catholic’s Junior Alexander during North Puget Sound League Mountain Division action in Oct. 2018 at Auburn Memorial Stadium. Photo by Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Auburn Riverside defenders bring down Kennedy Catholic’s Junior Alexander during North Puget Sound League Mountain Division action in Oct. 2018 at Auburn Memorial Stadium. Photo by Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Lawmakers push concussion awareness and best practices in sports

SB 5238 requires University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center to compile research data

By Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

A website outlining concussions in lower-impact sports, best practices and research would be created under Senate Bill 5238, which was heard Feb. 18 in the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.

Prime sponsor Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, told a story about a friend who coaches girls youth soccer and had discussed the increase in head injuries in the sport. This bill is Carlyle’s solution to putting more information into the public sphere and tackling an issue he regrets not approaching earlier, according to his public testimony.

“We have great information, great people, and we are not doing a great job of getting that out there,” said Carlyle, who represents District 36.

SB 5238 requires University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center to compile research data and best practices concerning concussions in sports. It also requires the university to maintain a website with concussion-related information and resources. This information would include a set of best practices on topics like concussion recognition; parent, teacher and coach information; and information on concussions in non-high impact sports. The website would be created and maintained in conjunction with Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). The website creation, maintenance and marketing would cost $ 98,000 in this first biennium and $ 77,000 each following biennium, according to the fiscal note.

Ian Goodhew, director of government relations for UW Medicine, testified in support of the bill.

“There’s a long history to this issue in Washington state, one we should be very proud of,” he said.

In 2009, the Legislature passed the Zackery Lystedt Law requiring the approval of a health care provider for a young athlete to return to a game. Lystedt is a Tacoma High School graduate who suffered a traumatic brain injury playing football in 2006.

The Lystedt Law has since been, in some form, adopted by the majority of states and focuses on return-to-play requirements. SB 5238 adds further previsions to this law.

In January 2018, Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinski committed suicide. He was later found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head.

According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, players from 147 college football programs have been diagnosed with CTE. A recent study, featured in Time Magazine, found that the earlier onset of symptoms associated with persistent head injuries is associated with the age in which an individual begins playing tackle football.

Studies on CTE are not limited to football, however, and fewer studies have been done on other sports.

The bill received support from Seattle Children’s Hospital, Washington State Athletic Trainers Association and Washington Education Association, among others.

More in Sports

Newport Knights junior shortstop Alexis Barashkoff is determined to lead her team back to the Class 4A state tournament for the second consecutive season on the softball field this spring. Barashkoff went 2-for-2 at the plate in a loss against the Bonney Lake Panthers on March 14. Shaun Scott, staff photo
The center of attention on the softball field

Newport junior shortstop Alexis Barashkoff wants her team to become a perennial powerhouse.

Newport Knights senior Alexis Khauv (pictured) hustles toward first base after laying down a bunt against the Bonney Lake Panthers on March 14 in Factoria. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Panthers defeat Knights in nonleague softball matchup

Bonney Lake earns road victory against Newport.

Panthers Youth Rugby holds spring registration

Panthers Youth Rugby is holding spring registration for players in grades 1-12.… Continue reading

The Bellevue Christian Vikings boys basketball team earned sixth place at the Class 1A state basketball tournament on March 2 at the Yakima SunDome. Photo courtesy of Brandon Kats
Bellevue Christian boys hoops team earns sixth place at state tourney

Senior-laden Vikings bring home hardware from Yakima.

A view from the bleachers at the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament on Feb. 15, 2019. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Mat Classic is an amazing spectacle

A simply special experience at the Tacoma Dome.

Bellevue-area gymnasts go big at state meets

Newport takes third in 4A team competition.

Bellevue Christian defenders Sophia Bold, center, and Molly Olson, left, converge on a Meridian senior Alexis Groen, right, in the first quarter of a regional playoff game on Feb. 23 at Issaquah High School. Meridian defeated Bellevue Christian 40-26. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Trojans defeat Vikings in regional playoff game

Bellevue Christian will have chance to redeem itself at state tourney.

Bellevue Christian Vikings senior Andy Moyer (No. 22) soars to the rim against the Seton Catholic Cougars in a loser-out, regional playoff game on Feb. 23. The Vikings defeated the Cougars 58-48. Moyer, who finished with 12 points, scored nine points in the fourth quarter of play. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Vikings clinch a berth in the 1A state hoops tournament

Bellevue Christian senior Ken West scores a team-high 23 points.

Auburn Riverside defenders bring down Kennedy Catholic’s Junior Alexander during North Puget Sound League Mountain Division action in Oct. 2018 at Auburn Memorial Stadium. Photo by Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Lawmakers push concussion awareness and best practices in sports

SB 5238 requires University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center to compile research data

Bellevue-area swimmers shine at state championships

Newport takes third in 4A steam standings.

The Newport Knights girls gymnastics team won a district championship on Feb. 15 in Factoria. The Knights, who tallied 175.350 team points, edged out second-place Woodinville (173.300) by just 2.05 points. Photo courtesy of Stacy Nemcher-Rendon
Knights gymnastics team wins district title

The Newport Knights gymnastics team won a district title for the first… Continue reading

Flying through the pool

Mount Si junior Nathan Harris competes in the 100 butterfly B final… Continue reading