power of the permit

Using the "Power of the Permit" To Promote Concussion Safety in Youth Sports


On May 10, 2014, the Vineland, New Jersey Daily Journal ran a story under the eye-catching headline, "Midget Football May Be Banned." The Vineland City Council said that the Vineland Midget Football League, which enrolls players between five and fourteen, reported only two of at least eight players who suffered concussions the prior season. The private league also allegedly issued some older players helmets that were designed and recommended only for younger, smaller and lighter players. The city council's vice president said that "nobody followed any protocols" about concussions.


Concussion Safety in Youth Sports: Roles for State Legislation and the Local Power of the Permit

Since 2009, all fifty states and the District of Columbia have enacted statutes to improve prevention and treatment of concussions in youth sports.

The passage of time will determine the efficacy of this new legislation and the desirability of further amendments, but, as I argue in a forthcoming law review article to be published by the Journal of Business & Technology Law (a copy of which is attached as a pdf), one major shortcoming of many of the new state concussions statutes is that regulate only interscholastic sports, and do not extend to private leagues, clubs and associations which do not own and operate their own facilities but instead use fields, gymnasiums, and other public property managed by local governmental bodies, usually the city council, the parks and recreation department, or the public school district. 


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