Ind. lawmaker to sponsor concussion training bill

Bill would require training for municipal coaches

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana lawmaker says he'll sponsor a bill next session that would require all youth football coaches using municipally-owned fields to be trained to spot the signs of concussions in their players.

Republican state Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle says his measure would require all football coaches using taxpayer-funded facilities such as school playing fields and township or city parks to be certified to recognize the signs of concussions in players and get them treatment.

Holdman said Friday concussions are "insidious" because football players who suffer head injuries in their youth can go years before the impact of those injuries become apparent.

Two-time Super Bowl champion - and current youth football coach -- Rosevelt Colvin said Holdman's legislation is vital to keeping young players safe.

"I remember when I was at Broad Ripple High School we lined up and hit a sled. They said to see how hard you can hit it to knock the springs out of it just to try to make you tougher. It's a different game, it's a different day and age, and we see the results of those now as we become older men," Colvin said.

USA Football, the national governing body of youth and amateur football, also supports the legislation.

"We're talking about a complex game to teach. With due respect to these volunteers that we know their hearts are in the right place, we know they're committed to this game. We just want to make sure that when we're talking about coaching football, America's favorite sport, that they're doing it the right way," Executive Director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck said.

The training would consist of an online course that takes about two hours to complete. It would cost each coach $5.

USA Football estimated that there are more than 10,000 youth and high school football coaches in Indiana.

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