Unless you coached or officiated high school football you probably paid little attention to the implementation of California Interscholastic Federation Bylaw 313 at the beginning of this season, but it could change the face of amateur football. Old-school high school football coaches were known for pushing their young players as hard as possible, even if they had their “bell rung” after a hard hit on the field. In light of extensive recent research about the lifelong effects of concussions, especially on young, developing brains, high school football’s governing body started to look at a way to monitor and prevent head trauma in players during and after the games. The result was Bylaw 313, which put the onus on coaches and referees to remove from a game any athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion. Coaches and refs hated the rule at first but have since embraced it, and there’s little doubt that the parents of these players are appreciative. Can young athletes play violent sports without long lasting consequences?
Marie Ishida, executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation
Dr. David Kruse, medical director of the UC Irvine Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center & co-founder of the UC Irvine Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program