The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and its Board of Directors approved the new recommendation for return to play for athletes (high school only mind you). Currently Illinois does not have legislation in place for concussions, but when the current HB200 gets mixed with SB150 the legislation will give the authority for policies to the IHSA. In lieu of not having legislation the IHSA has taken the NFHS rule a bit further in determining when a “concussed” player can return to practice or activity, period;
The new Policy reads: “In cases when an athlete is not cleared to return to play the same day as he/she is removed from a contest following a possible head injury (i.e., concussion), the athlete shall not return to play or practice until the athlete is evaluated by and receives written clearance from a licensed health care provider to return to play.
For the purposes of this policy, licensed health care providers consist of physicians licensed to practice medicine in all its branches in Illinois and certified athletic trainers working in conjunction with physicians licensed to practice medicine in all its branches in Illinois.”
A proactive step by the IHSA that should be applauded, and also a step in the right direction in defining who exactly can clear an athlete; MD/DO or ATC ONLY. There are other “doctors” that would be competent in dealing with concussions (see neuropsychologists) and perhaps in the future the IHSA will expand the licensed health care providers to include them. This clarifies a lot of questions that many, including myself had in this state.