ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A new report shows hockey and football players have the highest concussion rates in Minnesota high school sports.

The report released Thursday is based on data the Minnesota Department of Health collected from 36 Twin Cities-area schools during the last academic year. It estimates 3,000 high school athletes were concussed statewide last year.

Concussions were once considered part of the game, but schools and sports leagues have begun taking steps to protect players. Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 requiring coaches to remove young athletes from the game if they show concussion symptoms.

Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says their research should be a signal to coaches and parents that concussions need to be taken seriously. State officials plan to expand their research to schools statewide this year.

For 24/7 News and Sports visit KROC-AM