CIF introduces new rules to combat concussions


Jason Wilson, 14 Roseville High School students have been diagnosed with concussions this school year.

The California Interscholastic Federation has set in place new rules this year to help reduce the number of concussion related injuries resulting from sports in high schools throughout California.

One of the new rules that has been introduced this year involves all student athletes taking a mandatory baseline concussion test before their season of sport begins. Then, in any case of a concussion, an athlete would be able to retake the test to get a rough estimate of how severely they were affected.

Before this year, the baseline concussion test was optional and was only taken by RHS athletes if their coaches had them do so.

Varsity football wide receiver Josh Clark received a concussion after catching the ball and being tackled during the team’s game against Del Campo earlier this year.

He said that the recovery process is a long one, but does ensure that athletes will be healthy when they are finally allowed to begin participating again.

“Once you are symptom free, the new California State Law requires you to be healthy for a week and then take the [concussion] test,” Clark said.
“After that you have a recovery period where you have light jogging.”

Another new CIF law introduced this year limits the amount of contact practice time that football players have to two days per week. The law’s goal is to reduce the risk of concussions and other injuries during practices by reducing the amount of time the players have to hit each other.

Varsity cornerback junior CJ Munoz believes that the new football contact rules help despite having recently suffered a concussion himself.

“Yeah, the new rules definitely help, if your teammates aren’t lighting you up on those two days,” Munoz said.

Dayle Edgerton, RHS’ on-campus nurse, said that once the players have taken the test she works with teachers and other faculty to make sure the school takes the correct actions.

“We are not allowed to diagnose concussions on campus because it’s a medical condition,” Edgerton said. “Once the student is diagnosed, we can put some things into play, like athletically you are pulled from play immediately, and academically we try and reduce the amount of homework given and also no tests while the student is still feeling symptoms.”

Varsity football head coach Larry Cunha has had to deal with concussions first hand this year on the football field. He said that he and his staff take concussions very seriously.

“Once the player shows symptoms, we take the player out of participation immediately,” Cunha said.

Cunha says that once a player has been taken out of the game or practice session and is examined by a member of football coaching staff they are treated to the severity of their symptoms.

“If the player is showing signs of a mild concussion, then we will just have them sit out, and if it’s a more severe concussion, then we will get the player to a doctor that day or that afternoon,” Cunha said. “If the person is unconscious then we will call 911 immediately.”