Oregon to begin requiring Heads Up Football training for coaches
The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) is the first high school athletics organization to make such a mandate. It will recommend all of the state’s 249 football-playing high schools enroll in the program for 2015, but in 2016 they will be required to do so.From the OSAA:
“In our ongoing effort to minimize risks in the sport, we are pleased to partner with USA Football and implement Heads Up Football,” OSAA Executive Director Tom Welter said. “This program will ensure that all coaches, players and parents will receive consistent technique training and make the game as safe as possible.”
Dr. Michael Koester, chairperson of the OSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, said the Heads Up Football requirement in Oregon is logical considering in 2008 OSAA became the first state high school activities association to prohibit same day return to play for athletes with a suspected concussion.
“The committee sees this as a natural next step as we continue to look at innovative ways to minimize the risk of all football injuries, but particularly concussions,” Koester said. “This is an opportunity for high school coaches to set a standard for the youth leagues in their communities across the state. Ideally, we’ll have youth coaches getting certified as well, allowing for continuity of tackling techniques and safety protocols through an athlete’s entire playing experience.
“As a team physician and the parent of a high school football player, I’m excited about Heads Up Football.”
The Heads Up Football program includes coaching education; concussion recognition and response; equipment fitting; Heads Up blocking and tackling; sudden cardiac arrest education; heat and hydration; and player safety coaching.
For more details, read the OSAA news release here.