Find out more about Zackery Lystedt Law

The Zackery Lystedt Law

In 2006, Zackery Lystedt suffered a brain injury following his return to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. Zackery, his family and a broad range of medical, business and community partners lobbied the Washington state legislature for a law to protect young athletes in all sports from returning to play too soon. The Lystedt law contains three essential elements:

  • Athletes, parents and coaches must be educated about the dangers of concussions each year.
  • If a young athlete is suspected of having a concussion, he/she must be removed from a game or practice and not be permitted to return to play. When in doubt, sit them out.

A licensed health care professional must clear the young athlete to return to play in the subsequent days or weeks.

"If I could tell youth athletes one thing, it would be to take care of your health. If you're suspected of having a concussion, don't go back into the game, no matter how you feel when the adrenaline is flowing.

It makes me feel proud when I hear about Lystedt Laws being passed in other states. Sharing my story is important — I don't want anyone else to live through what I've had to live through every day.

I take it one day at a time and feel better most days. I'm motivated by the friends and family who believe in me." -- ZACKERY LYSTEDT

After the passage of the law in May 2009, several other states passed similar laws to protect youth athletes. In October 2010, Commissioner Goodell spoke at the "Keep Youth Sports Safe" conference at the Seattle Seahawks' offices. At the conference, Commissioner Goodell met Zack Lystedt and his family and pledged that the League will continue to support promotion and adoption of the Lystedt Law until all 50 states pass Zackery's law, or take action to keep youth sports safe from the risks of concussion. As of February 2014, all 50 states have passed laws to address concussion in youth sports.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to 44 governors of states urging them to pass a law similar to the Lystedt Law. On January 11, 2012, Commissioner Goodell and NCAA President Mark Emmert sent letters to 19 governors, charging them to protect youth athletes in their state through the passage of legislation. In the letters, Commissioner Goodell stated his belief that sports and political leaders can help raise awareness of concussions while ensuring proper and effective treatment.

Here are dates that each state passed Lystedt law legislation:

· Alabama

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Robert Bentley signed youth concussion bill into law on June 9, 2011.

· Alaska

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Sean Parnell signed youth concussion bill into law on May 27, 2011.

· Arizona

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Jan Brewer signed youth concussion bill into law on April 18, 2011.

· Arkansas

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Mike Beebe signed youth concussion bill into law on April 12, 2013.

· California

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Jerry Brown signed youth concussion bill into law on Oct. 4, 2011.

· Colorado

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor John Hickenlooper signed youth concussion bill into law on March 29, 2011.

· Connecticut

Legislation passed; Governor Jodi Rell signed youth concussion bill into law on May 19, 2010.

· District of Columbia

Legislation passed with NFL support; Mayor Vincent Gray signed youth concussion bill into law on July 27, 2011.

· Delaware

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Jack Markell signed youth concussion bill into law on August 31, 2011.

· Florida

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Rick Scott signed youth concussion bill into law on April 27, 2012.

· Georgia

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Nathan Deal signed youth concussion bill into law on April 23, 2013.

· Hawaii

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Neil Abercrombie signed youth concussion bill into law on July 3, 2012.

· Idaho

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Butch Otter signed youth concussion bill into law on April 3, 2012.

· Illinois

Legislation passed with support from the Chicago Bears; Governor Pat Quinn signed youth concussion bill into law on July 28, 2011.

· Indiana

Legislation passed with NFL support; Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed youth concussion bill into law on May 10, 2011.

· Iowa

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Terry Branstad signed youth concussion bill into law on April 7, 2011.

· Kansas

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Sam Brownback signed youth concussion bill into law on May 25, 2011.

· Kentucky

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Steve Beshear signed youth concussion bill into law on April 12, 2012.

· Louisiana

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Bobby Jindal signed youth concussion bill into law on June 29, 2011.

· Maine

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Paul LePage signed youth concussion bill into law on May 21, 2012.

· Maryland

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Martin O'Malley signed youth concussion bill into law on May 19, 2011.

· Massachusetts

Legislation passed; Governor Deval Patrick signed youth concussion bill into law on July 8, 2010.

· Michigan

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Rick Snyder signed youth concussion bill into law on Oct. 23, 2012.

· Minnesota

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Mark Dayton signed youth concussion bill into law on May 27, 2011.

· Mississippi

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Phil Bryant signed youth concussion bill into law on January 30, 2014.

· Missouri

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Jay Nixon signed youth concussion bill into law on July 8, 2011.

· Montana

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Steve Bullock signed youth concussion bill into law on April 22, 2013.

· Nebraska

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Dave Heineman signed youth concussion bill into law on April 14, 2011.

· Nevada

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Brian Sandoval signed youth concussion bill into law on May 31, 2011.

· New Hampshire

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor John Lynch signed youth concussion bill into law on June 18, 2012.

· New Jersey

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Chris Christie signed youth concussion bill into law on Dec. 7, 2010.

· New Mexico

Legislation passed; Governor Bill Richardson signed youth concussion bill into law on March 9, 2010.

· New York

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Andrew Cuomo signed youth concussion bill into law on Sept. 17, 2011.

· North Carolina

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Bev Perdue signed youth concussion bill into law on June 16, 2011.

· North Dakota

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Jack Dalyrymple signed youth concussion bill into law on April 22, 2011.

· Ohio

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor John Kasich signed youth concussion bill into law on Dec. 20, 2012.

· Oklahoma

Legislation passed; Governor Brad Henry signed youth concussion bill into law on May 13, 2010.

· Oregon

Legislation passed; Governor Ted Kulongowski signed youth concussion bill into law on June 18, 2009.

· Pennsylvania

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Tom Corbett signed youth concussion bill into law on Nov. 10, 2011.

· Rhode Island

Legislation passed; Governor Donald Carcieri signed youth concussion bill into law on June 9, 2010.

· South Carolina

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Nikki Haley signed youth concussion bill into law on June 7, 2013.

· South Dakota

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Dennis Daugaard signed youth concussion bill into law on March 17, 2011.

· Tennessee

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Bill Haslam signed youth concussion bill into law on April 12, 2013.

· Texas

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Rick Perry signed youth concussion bill into law on June 17, 2011.

· Utah

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Gary Herbert signed youth concussion bill into law on March 21, 2011.

· Vermont

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Pete Shumlin signed youth concussion bill into law on June 4, 2013.

· Virginia

Legislation passed; Governor Bob McDonnell signed youth concussion bill into law on April 11, 2010.

· Washington

Legislation passed with Seattle Seahawks' support; Governor Christine Gregoire signed the Zackery Lystedt youth concussion bill into law on May 9, 2009.

· West Virginia

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed youth concussion bill into law on May 29, 2013.

· Wisconsin

Legislation passed with NFL support; Governor Scott Walker signed youth concussion bill into law on April 2, 2012.

· Wyoming

Legislation passed; Governor Matt Mead signed youth concussion bill into law on March 10, 2011. Law differs from Lystedt Law.

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