On October 6, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assemblymember Mary Hayashi's bill, AB 25, making California one of the leaders in a nationwide movement to establish life-saving return-to-play laws in youth sports.
Mary with former San Francisco 49ers Keena Turner and Eric Davis, and former Oakland Raider Fred Biletnikoff.
Co-sponsored by the National Football League, AB 25 requires a school district to immediately remove an athlete from a school-sponsored athletic activity if he or she is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury.
“The Raiders are proud to continue our support of efforts to promote the health, safety and well-being of young athletes,” said Morris Bradshaw, former Raiders player and current Raiders Senior Administrator.
"The 49ers organization is thrilled that AB 25 has been officially signed. Congratulations to Assemblywoman Hayashi, the NFL and the other sponsors of this bill. Protecting our youth from sustaining needless injury, in particular head injuries, should always be a priority throughout competitive athletics," said 49ers Co-Chair and Owner John York, a member of the NFL Injury Safety Panel. "The progress that has been made in improving the safety of our youth in sports over the last year is commendable. The NFL and its teams feel a deep responsibility to set a proper example, and the signing of this bill is a tremendous step in keeping our youth safe and healthy as they compete in sports."
“This is great news,” said A.G. Spanos, the Chargers’ executive vice president and chief executive officer. “We’re proud of our state’s leadership in taking these important steps to help ensure the health and safety of our young athletes.”
The bill prohibits the return of the student until he or she is evaluated by, and receives written clearance from, a licensed health care provider. In addition, the bill requires a concussion and head injury information sheet to be signed and returned by that athlete and their parent or guardian before the first practice or competition.
Oregon, Texas, and Washington had already passed similar laws to protect high school athletes. Oregon’s 2009 law mandates annual concussion training for coaches. School sports officials also keep players off the field for the rest of the day when injured, and mandate a medical evaluation before they return.
Washington State’s law was created last year because a 13-year old football player shook off his head injury and kept playing without telling his coach. He fell into a coma after the game, having suffered traumatic brain injury and barely survived. In 2007, Texas passed Will’s Bill, requiring every high school coach to be trained in basic safety and emergency procedures, which special emphasis on concussions and second-impact syndrome.