New WIAA rule named after Evergreen's Kenney Bui
There’s a new rule in school sports aimed at improving player safety and preventing preventable brain injuries. Known as the “Kenney Bui Rule”, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has announced Rule 17.11.5 that states:
“To resume participation following medical care for suspicion of concussion or concussion, both the school athletic director and the medical authorities approved by the WIAA to make return to practice/play decisions (MD, DO, PA, ARNP, LAT) shall use the WIAA’s designated “Return to Practice and Competition for Athletes with a Suspected Concussion” form. This new rule will be known as the “Kenney Bui Rule.”
The Lystedt Law, Washington’s first in the nation legislation that turned best medical practices into a uniform law requiring removal of a youth athlete from practice or competition following suspicion of concussion and written medical clearance prior to returning to sports. But it left the implementation on “how to” satisfy this to the WIAA and the many School Districts in Washington. Now, the Kenney Bui Rule further defines the implementation by requiring medical clearance plus written clearance from the school’s Athletic Director, and uniform use of WIAA’s newly adopted designated form.
These changes will ensure greater accountability that all the steps are properly completed in a youth athlete’s safe return to the sport they enjoy playing.
Preventing preventable traumatic brain injuries in youth sports has been an important part of the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington’s advocacy for over a decade. Thanks to the work of leaders and advocates like Attorneys Richard H. Adler, Melissa D. Carter, and Arthur D. Leritz of Adler Giersch, PS, the Kenney Bui Rule is now a reality. This new rule follows the litigation that uncovered the missteps following Kenney Bui’s multiple concussion, known as Second Impact Syndrome, that led to his death in 2015 as a 17-year-old high school football player.
Richard Adler, who is a Past BIAWA Board President, current Board member, Chair of BIAWA’s Advocacy Committee, is the attorney that drafted the Lystedt legislation. “We hope that this new rule will honor the legacy of our clients, 17-year-old Kenney Bui, his brother and parents, by turning tragedy into increasing the ability to prevent preventable brain injuries in youth sports. We appreciate the responsiveness of the WIAA in adopting this must-needed rule once learning the facts of Kenney’s case,” Adler stated.
Zackery Lystedt sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2006 after returning to play during a junior high football game in which he had already received a brain injury. The Lystedt Law was far reaching in that private, non-profit sports organizations that use play fields owned by the public must also follow the provisions of the law. All states have since passed similar laws, and the NFL followed suit by implementing concussion protocols.
“We are saddened to hear about Kenny’s death and know having a ‘rule’ will not bring Kenny back but it may give The Bui Family something positive out of the loss of their son,” Zackery stated. “I am proud of everyone trying to make sports safer and continuously pursuing youth sports safety. There is no doubt the WIAA, Richard Adler, and the BIAWA have continued to bring awareness to the dangers of sports-related concussions and leading the way to educate all athletes involved in Washington State Sport Activities.”
To find out more about Brain Injury, find resources, or learn how you can get involved, visit biawa.org.
A Brain Injury occurs every 15 seconds in the US and are the leading cause of death and disability in most age groups. The Brain Injury Alliance (BIAWA) of Washington is the statewide resource for individuals with Brain Injury. BIAWA’s mission is to increase public awareness, support, and hope for those affected by Brain Injury through education, assistance, and advocacy.
BIAWA manages the Brain Injury Resource Line and offers intensive resource management across the state for those who face a myriad of obstacles after their injury. BIAWA serves 10,000+ individuals annually through free classes, support groups, information and referral services, and social opportunities.
To connect with the BIAWA, please call the BIAWA Resource Line 1-877-982-4292 or please visit us on the web at biawa.org to learn more.