The state Board of Education has given final approval to a rule dealing with how high schools handle sports concussions.
The board approved the rule during its monthly meeting this week in Charleston.
“This is a significant step in how we protect all of our athletes from the short- and long-term impact of concussions,” said West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin.
“Now a certified medical professional must clear student athletes before they can get back into practice or play.”
Last year, legislators passed a bill requiring the Secondary School Activities Commission to draft rules aimed at preventing youth concussions. Among other things, they require schools to increase awareness and warn players of the risks of continuing to play after a concussion occurs.
The legislation also requires schools to create a written procedure for recognizing injuries and then clearing athletes to return to play, including the written permission of a licensed health care professional.
The state Board of Education postponed approving the rule in October in order to clarify the definition of certified medical personnel.