The Missouri High School Activities association will evaluate the effects of new safety precautions that went into affect in 2011
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The Missouri High School Activities association will evaluate the effects of new safety precautions that went into affect in 2011

Date: September 6, 2013
By: Jessica Mensch
State Capitol Bureau

As the nation continues debate about NFL concussions, Missouri will get more information next month about high school athlete concussions.
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Wrap: A report is just one of the requirements outlined in the 2011 legislation passed that furthers safety precautions for athletes who may have brain injuries.

The Director of the organization that coordinates high school athletic competitions helped write the legislation.

Harvey Richards says the 2013 report on the number of injuries will be released in the next month. Richards says the safety evaluation this year may be misleading.

Actuality:  RICARDS1.WAV
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Description: "I think we'll see an increase in that number this year because it is more prevalent, it's more education out there to the parents and to the players. So instead of someone hiding it or not telling us about it, it is being reported and we are actually having those students seek medical professional help."

Richards advises parents not be alarmed by this possible increase in numbers. The reports could be higher because head injuries are being treated and recognized thanks to the legislation.


The head of the organization that oversees Missouri school athletic competition warns that a report next month on concussions may be misleading.
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Wrap: The law imposing requirements on dealing with head injuries of athletes is just two years old.

Director of the High School Activities Association Harvey Richards says it may take a little longer for the full benefits of the law to take effect.

Actuality:  RICHARD2.WAV
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Description: "It'll be years before we can get documentation or data that would prove whether we have seen a substantial decrease or increase in the concuss rate in our sports."

However, Richards does think that this years report may show an increase in concussions because athletes are now required to report injuries.

The director of the Missouri State High School Activities Association suggests further rules may be necessary to protect athletes.
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Wrap: Although legislation was passed in 2011 to help protect Missouri high school athletes from brain injuries, the Director of the Activities Association says this may not be enough

Harvey Richards says they are looking at additional solutions to protect high school athletes.

Actuality:  RICHARDS.WAV
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Description: "I think the thing that we're looking at now is will there be changes in the rules specifically to each sport that would try and reduce the rate of injury? Or if there's going to be an equipment change."

Richards says the Activities Association is focused on collecting data for their annual report at this time, but additional precautions could be the next item on their agenda.

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