Complete concussion counting could come to Texas HS sports – KHOU
HOUSTON â Texas public schools could have a new injury reporting system in place by the kickoff of the next football season.
Since April, the KHOU 11 News I-Team has been reporting on the stateâs concussion counting system for high school sports.
The University Interscholastic League (UIL), the governing body for middle and high school sports at Texas public schools, only requires about 20 percent of schools to report sports injuries and only in football.
In April, UILâs Deputy Director Jamey Harrison said he believed the system was âgood.â
âWeâre not going to step out and try to make changes related to student safety that does not have the support of medical science,â Harrison said.
But the I-Team kept digging and discovered that many of the Houston-area schools that were supposed to report their injuries did not last year.
Parents spoke out, too, petitioning the UIL to make all schools report concussions.
And the injuries kept coming.
âI see all these people around me and I know who nobody is,â recalled Caleb Williams, who suffered a concussion on the football field earlier this fall.
âIt really takes your breath away when you look over and see your child is not moving,â said Calebâs father, Troy Williams.
But even now, no one can be sure how often these injuries are happening in Texas.
And thatâs frustrating to many doctors.
âThereâs a lot of contact in sports these days, so it behooves us, really, to look at the full spectrum of athletes,â said Dr. Paul Saenz.
Now the UIL admits itâs time for changes when it comes to injury reporting.
âWe believe it can be improved and should be improved,â said Harrison.
He says the UIL is hoping to partner with researchers to count all injuries in all sports statewide.
Harrison says UILâs Medical Advisory Committee asked for the change.
âWhat we have heard from them is we could definitely improve the medical use of this data if we could collect it in a different way,â Harrison said.
Thatâs good news for families, such as the Williams.
They hope a full counting of concussions will mean safer sports for students.
âIf something happens in high school that affects your entire life, it doesnât matter if youâre being tough,â said Latoshia Williams. âThe kidsâ future is whatâs important.â
Harrison says the UIL is still trying to figure out whether detailed injury information will be available for parents to look up. He says there are a number of legal issues involved in that process.
The agency, however, already releases that information for the limited number of schools that are required to report injuries.