Senate passes Lombardi legislation that requires school districts to designate athletic trainer for school games


STATE HOUSE — The Senate today passed legislation (2024-S 2146) introduced by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) that would require all school districts to designate an athletic trainer to be available for high school athletic practices and games.

“Emergency preparedness and ensuring the safety of children playing sports should be one of our top priorities,” said Senator Lombardi, who officiates college and high school soccer, and has seen first-hand the injuries and emergencies that can happen on the playing field. “The time has come to require that a licensed athletic trainer be available for when these situations arise. Heat stroke, cardiac arrest and concussions have led to fatalities which have been traumatic to the community and cost school districts millions of dollars in legal settlements.”

Traumatic brain injury among youth athletes is a serious public health concern in the United States. In 2011, more than 55,000 high school football players and 29,000 young soccer players sustained concussions during practice or competition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Jacquelyn M. Baginski (D-Dist. 17, Cranston) has introduced similar legislation (2024-H 7872).