Starting in August, football teams in Class 6A will be required to report all concussions suffered by its athletes to the UIL, which said on Wednesday that they’re sharing data with UT-Southwestern in efforts to track brain injuries among young athletes in every sport.
UIL media coordinator Kate Hector said that teams will have to send in reports at some point during the 2019-2020 school year, but there is no strict deadline.
“It’s still optional for all other school, but we wanted to start with a small sample size,” Hector added. “There will be a series of questions for any student in the concussion protocol.”
Dr. Jamey Harrison, UIL Executive Deputy Director said that Texas officials have been in “heavy conversation” with UT-Southwestern for about the past three years, which is the time schools could voluntarily report concussions.
The Associated Press reported that Texas leads the nation with roughly 825,000 high school athletes. It would become the second state along with Michigan to mandate high schools to report concussions.
“We’re hoping we have enough data after the 2019 season to move forward and make it mandatory for all schools,” Harrison said. “It’s much more about football. It’s all sports, boys and girls from seventh to 12th grade.”
In 2001, the UIL formed the Medical Advisory Committee to help examine the health and safety of high school athletes students involved in interscholastic activity participation. Any recommendations from this committee are presented to the UIL Legislative Council Committee.
“The intent is to get more research so that it provides us with better policy decisions such as rules on playing, practice limitations and training requirements,” Harrison said.