The issue of concussions in sports is of particular importance today. The Board encourages all parents, legal guardians, players and coaches to read the information below to educate themselves and better understand concussion related issues, identify signs and symptoms for concussions, ways to prevent concussions and the need to rest and obtain treatment to resolve these injuries before returning to school and sports related activities.
The problem with concussions is that it is a difficult injury to accurately diagnose. However, as parents, legal guardians, athletes and coaches, we can educate ourselves on recognizing the many signs and symptoms of concussion related injuries.
A concussion is a brain injury that can affect a person’s ability to perform day-to-day activities. Light sensitivity, balance, appetite, sleep, reaction time, concentration and school work may be affected. Some symptoms may appear immediately, but some may take an hour or a day to manifest.
To assist medical personnel in diagnosing a concussion, baseline testing is a valuable tool. Those in public school looking to participate in sports activities are provided baseline testing through the school prior to engaging in sports. Those players attending private school or who have not reached the 7th grade are encouraged to contact their personal doctor and arrange for concussion baseline testing.
The Club policy and protocol for concussions is as follows:
- If a player receives a blow to the head in practice or a game, the coach shall remove the player from the game and check for concussion related symptoms.
- If a player complains of concussion related symptoms, the coach shall remove the player from the game and check for ongoing concussion symptoms before returning to the game or practice.
- If the coach detects concussion related symptoms, the player must sit for the remainder of the game or practice.
- If a parent or guardian determines a player must sit for the remainder of a game or practice, the coach and player must honor the parent’s decision.
- If a player has been diagnosed with a concussion, the player must provide a medical release and return to play report from a medical doctor before resuming soccer activities.
- The medical doctor directives must be followed whether the directive involves limited activity, other modified return status or unlimited, full contact, game playing release.
- If there is any concern or issue of an injury, the Club policy is, “If in doubt, sit them out”.
- The general rule is to err on the side of caution, “It’s better to miss a game than a season!
Signs and Symptoms
Signs observed by coaching staff
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Is confused about assignment or position
- Forgets sports plays
- Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness (even briefly)
- Shows behavior or personality changes
- Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
- Can’t recall events after hit or fall
Symptoms reported by the athlete
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Concentration or memory problems changes
- Does not “feel right”
Concussion fact sheets
For more information:
- EPYSA Concussion Management Resources
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention — Heads Up: Concussion Awareness in Youth Sports
- ThinkTaylor.org – A non-profit foundation generating increased awareness, recognition and education of traumatic brain injuries