New Concussion Law in Place for High School Football Season - WBAY

New Concussion Law in Place for High School Football Season

West De Pere - The high school football season is officially underway.

Many teams in the area had their first practice Tuesday.

It's also the first season with a new law in effect to help reduce the number of concussions among athletes.

The Ashwaubenon High School football team was so excited for the season, it's first practice was at midnight.

"The kids have been jazzed about it for a month. I almost had to do it," said coach Mark Jonas.

But with the new season, comes some new rules.

A law passed last December means coaches need to keep a closer eye on players.

Anyone with symptoms of concussion will be immediately taken out of a game or practice until a doctor gives clearance to return.

West De Pere High School's football coach says that's a procedure they've been following for awhile.

"Sometimes we actually have to be careful with them because they never want to come out. So, we have to be vigilant in terms of watching where they're at," said coach Jack Batten.

There's also more education about concussion symptoms for parents.

"There's a sheet that the parents need to read. Players as well. They sign the sheet saying they agree that they've read the sheet," added Batten.

The WIAA is also taking steps to reduce the number of concussions. The first week of practice there's no contact allowed and in the coming weeks it's restricted.

"Tuesday and Wednesday they just have helmets. Thursday, Friday and Saturday we can go shoulder pads, helmets, but it's limited to a term called thud where you can't take players to the ground," explained Batten.

"I'm not going to lie it makes it a little more boring because we can't do everything full out, but it's a good chance for the young guys to learn new things," said senior running back Dom Conway.

The coach for West De Pere says safety has been and always will be the number one priority.

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