[Senate Report 113-310]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

113th Congress 
 2d Session                      SENATE                          Report


                                                       Calendar No. 618

                      YOUTH SPORTS CONCUSSION ACT


                              R E P O R T

                                 of the



                                S. 1014

               December 12, 2014.--Ordered to be printed
                    one hundred thirteenth congress
                             second session

             JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
 BARBARA BOXER, California            JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
 BILL NELSON, Florida                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
 MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           ROY BLUNT, Missouri
 MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 MARCO RUBIO, Florida
 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
 AMY KLOBUCHAR , Minnesota            DEAN HELLER, Nevada
 MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  DANIEL COATS, Indiana
 RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut      TIM SCOTT, South Carolina
 BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii                 TED CRUZ, Texas
 ED MARKEY, Massachusetts             DEB FISCHER, Nebraska
 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey              RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
 JOHN WALSH, Montana
                     Ellen Doneski, Staff Director
                     John Williams, General Counsel
              David Schwietert, Republican Staff Director
              Nick Rossi, Republican Deputy Staff Director
               Rebecca Seidel, Republican General Counsel

                                                       Calendar No. 618
113th Congress                                                   Report
 2d Session                                                     113-310


                      YOUTH SPORTS CONCUSSION ACT


               December 12, 2014.--Ordered to be printed


     Mr. Rockefeller, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1014]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1014) to reduce sports-related 
concussions in youth, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment (in the 
nature of a substitute) and recommends that the bill (as 
amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 1014, the Youth Sports Concussion Act, is 
to help reduce sports-related concussions in youth by providing 
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) greater enforcement 

                          Background and Needs

    In recent years, a constant drumbeat of press coverage 
about the long-term implications of traumatic brain injury 
among athletes has caused widespread alarm among parents and 
growing public awareness of its dangers. Yet this public 
concern has also resulted in the proliferation of unfair and 
deceptive safety claims to sell protective sports equipment and 
has highlighted the need to streamline the FTC's authority over 
these claims, as well as a closer review of safety standards 
for sports equipment.
    On October 19, 2011, the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation of the Senate held a hearing, Concussions 
and the Marketing of Sports Equipment, which examined its 
investigative findings of widespread usage of ``anti-
concussion,'' ``concussion-reducing,'' or other unfounded 
claims in the marketing of sports equipment. In August 2012, 
the FTC brought an enforcement action against the makers of 
Brain-Pad mouth guards for false and misleading claims. Still, 
products touting unfounded promises of concussion 
``prevention'' continue to be readily available online.
    While much of the media coverage has centered on the 
tragedies of former NFL players with histories of brain 
injuries, doctors say that young athletes are more vulnerable 
to concussions and face greater negative consequences. This 
past school year, more than 300,000 high school athletes were 
diagnosed with concussions. And since 2005, over 1.3 million 
concussions have been diagnosed among high school athletes in 
just the top 9 most popular sports. These figures, researchers 
say, likely understate - vastly - the true extent of the 
epidemic because many head injuries go unreported or ignored.
    In October 2013, the Institute of Medicine of the National 
Academies issued a report, Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: 
Improving the Science, Changing the Culture, which is 
referenced in the legislation and was commissioned at the 
urging of Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV and Senator Tom 
Udall. The report found that much remains unknown about the 
extent of concussions in youth, but it found limited evidence 
that current helmet designs reduce the risk of sport-related 
concussions and no evidence that mouth guards or other facial 
protection equipment reduce concussion risk. The Institute of 
Medicine's report recommended that the Federal Government 
invest in additional research into biomechanical factors that 
influence injury risk in youth and that this data be used to 
inform the development of effective protective equipment safety 

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 1014 would allow the FTC to clarify what constitutes an 
unfair and deceptive act or practice in regards to safety 
claims involving sports equipment, and it would provide the FTC 
the authority to impose civil penalties for such violations. 
The legislation would also provide State attorneys general the 
authority to enforce such advertising violations.
    The bill has received support from numerous sports, 
medical, and consumer organizations: American Academy of 
Neurology, American Academy of Pediatrics, Brain Injury 
Association of America, Brain Trauma Foundation, Cleveland 
Clinic, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Major 
League Baseball, Major League Baseball Players Association, 
Major League Soccer, Major League Soccer Players Union, 
National Association of State Head Injury Administrators, 
National Athletic Trainers' Association, National Basketball 
Association, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National 
Consumers League, National Federation of State High School 
Associations, National Football League, National Football 
League Players Association, National Hockey League, National 
Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, National 
Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, Safe 
Kids Worldwide, US Lacrosse, U.S. Soccer Federation, and USA 

                          Legislative History

    On April 9, 2014, in an open Executive Session, the 
Committee considered the bill and reported S. 1014, as amended, 
favorably by voice vote. The Committee adopted a substitute 
amendment from Senator Rockefeller.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 

S. 1014--Youth Sports Concussion Act

    S. 1014 would prohibit importers and sellers of athletic 
equipment from making deceptive claims about the safety of that 
equipment. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be directed 
to write regulations to enforce the new prohibition.
    Based on information from the FTC, CBO estimates that the 
cost of implementing S. 1014 would not be significant because 
the agency is already taking action to enforce such a 
prohibition under its general authority. Enacting S. 1014 would 
not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-
go procedures do not apply.
    S. 1014 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susan Willie. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    The legislation would apply to manufacturers of sports 
equipment, including any person who sells, offers for sale, or 
imports any item or equipment intended, designed, or offered 
for use by an individual engaged in any athletic sporting 
activity, whether professional or amateur.

                            economic impact

    This legislation is not expected to have an adverse 
economic impact on the Nation.


    S. 1014 would not have a negative impact on the personal 
privacy of individuals.


    S. 1014 is not expected to create new reporting 

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title.

    Section 1 of the bill would establish the short title of 
the bill as the ``Youth Sports Concussion Act.''

Section 2. Sense of Congress.

    Section 2 of the bill would provide the sense of Congress 
that scientific advancements and a greater understanding of the 
issues that affect the health and safety of young athletes are 
key to reducing sports-related concussions in youth. The sense 
of Congress would call on the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission and the FTC to review the October 2013 report from 
the Institute of Medicine to inform their efforts to protect 
consumers. It also urges that any voluntary standards adopted 
by protective sports equipment manufacturers include a 
mechanism to ensure substantial compliance.

Section 3. False or misleading claims with respect to athletic sporting 
        activity equipment.

    Section 3 of the bill would make it unlawful for any person 
to sell, offer for sale, or import any item or equipment for 
which the seller or importer, or anyone on their behalf, makes 
any deceptive claim about the safety benefits of the item or 
equipment. Any such violation would be considered a violation 
of a rule under section 18 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 57a). 
Should the FTC believe that a rulemaking is needed to carry out 
this section, the FTC would be empowered to do so under section 
553 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the 
Administrative Procedure Act). Section 3 of the bill also would 
authorize State attorneys general to bring actions against 
entities that are in violation of this section, subject to 
intervention by the FTC.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.