TASK FORCE TO STUDY SPORTS INJURIES IN HIGH SCHOOL FEMALE ATHLETES

Tracy Layton, Chair (chosen by Governor)

Appointed by Governor: Rebecca Bethea; Frank P. Dawson IV, M.D.; Kayla Harris; David A. Klossner, Ph.D.; Dominic A. Lanzo, M.D.; Andrew E. Lincoln, Sc.D.; DeToiya McAliley; Christina Morganti, M.D.; Davia L. Procida; Megan Rich; David M. Scrivener; Maria Trent, M.D.

Appointed by Senate President: one vacancy

Appointed by House Speaker: Kathleen M. Dumais

Appointed by Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene: Cheryl D. De Pinto, M.D.

Appointed by Chair, State Board of Education: Donna Hill Staton, Esq.

Staff: Edward F. (Ned) Sparks

c/o State Dept. of Education
Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building, 200 West Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2595
(410) 767-0376
e-mail: edward.sparks@maryland.gov

In July 2014, the Task Force to Study Sports Injuries in High School Female Athletes was authorized (Chapter 653, Acts of 2014).

The Task Force reviewed current medical research on the sports injuries of female high school athletes, including concussion, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), shoulder, and orthopedic ankle injuries. Then, the Task Force compared the rate of injuries to high school female athletes to that of high school male athletes. Thereafter, the Task Force considered ways to reduce sports injuries to female high school athletes, including preventive measures such as protective equipement and conditioning exercises. It also was to establish standard protocols for returning to play after an injury, as well as treatment plans. Statutes and regulations from other states designed to prevent a higher injury rate for female high school athletes were examined, and the Task Force noted whether such statutes or regulations are needed in Maryland. Finally, the Task Force recommended policies to reduce injuries of female high school athletes, such as fewer and shorter practices; restricting athletic manuevers known to cause injuries, such as heading a soccer ball; requiring more protective gear; and promoting warm-up programs with specific neuromuscular and proprioceptive training techniques.

In December 2014, the Task Force submitted its interim report and, in December 2015, its final report to the Governor and General Assembly.

Authorization for the Task Force ended December 31, 2015.

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