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The Florida Senate

CS/HB 291 — Youth Athletes

by Health and Human Services Access Subcommittee and Rep. Renuart and others (CS/CS/SB 256 by Budget Committee; Budget Subcommittee on Pre-K – 12 Appropriations; and Senators Flores, Lynn, Negron, and Benacquisto)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Education Pre-K - 12 Committee (ED)

 This bill requires the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) and independent sanctioning authorities to adopt:

  • Guidelines to educate coaches, officials, administrators, youth athletes and their parents or guardians about the risk of concussion and head injury;  and
  • Bylaws that require head-injured youth athletes to be immediately removed from play and not allowed to return until they submit a written clearance by an appropriate health care practitioner.


The FHSAA is required to adopt bylaws that provide the establishment and duties of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) of the FHSAA, with the following representation:


  • Eight medical or osteopathic physicians in any combination, provided that there is at least one osteopath;
  • One chiropractor;
  • One podiatrist;
  • One dentist;
  • Three licensed athletic trainers; and
  • One current or retired high school head coach.


The designation and scope of an appropriate health care practitioner is to be defined by the SMAC of the FHSAA.


Parents or guardians are required to annually provide signed informed consent about concussion and head injury prior to their child’s participation in athletics.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2012.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 116-0