Concussion & Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness
In addition to our Risk Management program, which incorporates national background checks and safety guidelines, Washington Youth Soccer also complies with all Washington State laws regarding youth athlete safety. Two important laws specifically apply to Washington Youth Soccer activities: House Bill 1824 and Senate Bill 5083.
House Bill 1824 – The so-called “Zackery Lystedt Law” addresses the risk of concussions and head injuries in youth sports, with specific requirements for education and compliance by players, parents, coaches, and organizations (such as youth soccer clubs or associations). For more information on the Zackery Lystedt Law and compliance requirements, see below.
Senate Bill 5083 – The bill known as the “Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Act” addresses sudden cardiac arrest in youth athletes, with specific requirements for education and compliance by players, parents, coaches, and organizations (such as youth soccer clubs or associations) that use school facilities in Washington State. For more information on the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Act and compliance requirements, see below.
Information on Compliance with House Bill 1824 – “Zackery Lystedt Law”
Policies for the management of concussion (Traumatic Brain Injury) in youth soccer:
On May 14, 2009, Governor of Washingto, Christine Gregoire signed House Bill 1824, also known as the “Zackery Lystedt Law”. Effective July 26, 2009, the Lystedt Law directly affects youth sports and Traumatic Brain Injuries by requiring that:
An informed consent must be signed annually by parents and youth athletes acknowledging the risk of head injury prior to practice or competition.
A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion must be removed from play – “when in doubt, sit them out.”
A youth athlete who has been removed from play must receive written clearance from a licensed health care provider prior to returning to play.
Washington Youth Soccer has developed guidelines, pertinent information, and documents to inform and educate coaches, youth athletes, and their parent(s)/guardian(s) of the nature and risk of concussion including continuing to play after concussion or head injury. Each member association and club will work in concert with Washington Youth Soccer to disseminate these materials and ensure compliance with the new law.
Information on Compliance with Senate Bill 5083 – “Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Act”
The safety of our players is paramount to Washington Youth Soccer. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death for youth athletes; as many as 1 in 250 youth athletes suffer from a heart disorder that may increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. On July 24, 2015, a new State of Washington law regarding Sudden Cardiac Arrest awareness will go into effect. SB 5083 – referred to as the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Awareness Act – was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor with the intent of making youth athletes, their families, and coaches aware of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Similar to the Zachery Lystedt Law (HB 1824) for concussion awareness passed in 2009, SB 5083 specifically outlines requirements for private nonprofit groups, such as youth soccer clubs/associations, to comply with prior to their first use of school facilities in Washington State by the private nonprofit group. For our member organizations, this means that each club/association that requests school fields/facilities must comply with SB 5083 before the school district will allow use of their facilities.
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) recently notified WA Youth Soccer of the new law and WIAA has been charged by the Legislature with providing resources for school districts and private nonprofit groups to comply with the new law and raise awareness of this important issue.
Requirements for Member Clubs and Associations
In order to comply with SB 5083, there are three main areas of immediate action for our clubs and associations:
- Annual Statement of Compliance (waiver) from Parent/Guardian and Player – each year, prior to the beginning of the soccer season, each registered soccer player and the player’s parents and/or guardian must sign and submit to the club or association a statement of compliance that the player and parents have both reviewed an online pamphlet providing information about sudden cardiac arrest.
- Coach Training and Certificate of Completion Every Three Years – every three years, each WA Youth Soccer coach and assistant coach must complete an online Sudden Cardiac Arrest prevention program and submit a certificate showing completion of the program to the club/association. WIAA is still working on the training program for coaches; in the meantime, WIAA recommends the use of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NHFS) online training. The training takes approximately 15 minutes and is available for free at https://nfhslearn.com/courses/61032.
- Statement of Compliance from Club/Association – when a club/association plans to use the fields of a school, it must then submit to the school district a Statement of Compliance, which is a certificate stating that it has the statements of compliance from the players and parents/guardians and the training certificates of completion from the coaches, in compliance with the Act. The Statement of Compliance must also certify and provide proof of insurance meeting the requirements of the Act. The insurance policy requirements are:
An accident and liability policy with coverage of at least $50,000 for bodily injury or death of one person or at least $100,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any incident; and issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Washington State.
Our insurance provider, Pullen Insurance, has confirmed that our insurance policies meet the requirements of the Act and the Certificates of Insurance (COIs) will include language specifically stating that compliance with SB 5083 is met by the named insured. COIs will be distributed to Member Associations in early-to-mid August once the policies are made available to WA Youth Soccer.