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Concussion Protocol and Procedures

THOMAS JOHNSON AREA YOUTH SOCCER CLUB

 

CONCUSSION PROTOCOL AND PROCEDURES


Introduction

The Thomas Johnson Area Youth (“TJAY”) Soccer Club has developed policies and provided recommendations for the implementation of concussion awareness programs for its athletes, their parents or guardians, and their coaches. The TJAY Soccer Club has also developed recommendations on the management and treatment of athletes suspected or diagnosed with having sustained a concussion. These recommendations, in addition to the accompanying recommended forms, provide guidance for both the athlete’s exclusion from play as well as their return to the practice and game field.

The provisions of the policies and plan call for training coach as well as providing awareness to all athletes and their parents or guardians on:

 The nature and risk of a concussion or head injury

  • The criteria for removal of from and return to play

  • The risk of not reporting injury

  • Appropriate academic accommodations

  • The provisions also mandate written verification of:

    • The coach receiving concussion awareness training

    • The student-athlete and parent or guardian acknowledging receipt of concussion awareness information

The TJAY Soccer Club has formulated the following procedures regarding concussion awareness and training.


Definitions

Concussion – a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) causing an immediate and, usually short-lived change in mental status or an altercation of normal consciousness resulting from a bump, blow, jolt, shaking or spinning of the head or body.

Graduated return to play protocols- the progressive return to play stages included in the Policies and Programs on Concussions for the TJAY Soccer Club.

Return to play – participation in a non-medically supervised practice of athletic competition after a period of exclusion.

Athlete – a person participating in any tryout, practice, or contest of a TJAY Soccer Club team.

Club personnel – those directly responsible for administering or coaching an athletic program associated with the TJAY Soccer Club.

Youth sports program – a program organized for recreational athletic competition and instruction for participants who are younger than 19 years old.
 

Coach’s Education

The TJAY Soccer Club has the responsibility to assure that each coach is trained in concussion risk and management. At a minimum, the coach’s training shall include:

  • The nature and risk of a brain injury

  • The risk of not reporting the injury

  • Criteria for removal and return to play

  • Understanding concussions

  • Recognizing concussions

  • Signs and symptoms

  • Response and action plan 

All TJAY Soccer Club coaches will complete the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) concussion training which can be found at the following website:

 http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/training/index.html

Presentation of a certificate of completion from a coaches training course with biennial renewal as a condition of coaching will be required to assure compliance.

TJAY Soccer Club coaches will present certificates to the TJAY Board of Directors to verify completion of their training.

Informative tools and additional information for youth sports coaches, parents, athletes, and health care professionals provide important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion and are available at the CDC website:

 http://www.cdc.gov/HeadsUp/index.html

The following list of resources should be at every practice or competition where a athlete could sustain a concussion.

 

Concussion Awareness for Athletes, Parents or Guardians and TJAY Soccer Club Personnel

The TJAY Soccer Club will assure that athletes, parents or guardians, and Soccer Club personnel have access to an informational sheet describing:

  • The nature and risk of a concussion or head injury

  • The criteria for removal and return to play

  • The risks of not reporting injury and continuing to play

The TJAY Soccer Club will use materials from The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) tools for youth sports coaches, parents, athletes, and health care professionals provide important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion, and are available at

 http://www.cdc.gov/HeadsUp/index.html

 The TJAY Soccer Club will provide concussion information in the following ways:

  • In-service training

  • Coach/Parent/Student pre-season meetings and Meet the Coach Nights

  • Team meetings/practices

  • Website www.TJAYSoccer.com with links to The Center for Disease Control information on concussions.

A parent or guardian of every athlete must verify that they have reviewed the information on concussions themselves and with any athletes registered to play with the TJAY Soccer Club.

Removal and Return to Play

After an appropriate medical assessment, any athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion shall immediately be removed from practice or play. The athlete shall not return to play until cleared by a licensed health care provider authorized to approve return to play. As part of the protocol, a parent, guardian or emergency contact must be notified in person or by telephone and in writing immediately after a athlete sustains a suspected concussion.

To assist athletes, parents and school personnel the following forms and documents are provided on the TJAY Soccer Club’s website: 

  • Return to Play Form

  • Graduated Return to Play Protocol

 

Recommendations for Concussion Injury Mitigation in Contact Sports

While activities classified as Contact Sports are not specifically structured to provide for intentional physical contact between participants, the incidence of game/sport related contact between players and/or equipment cannot be totally avoided.  Providing athletes with proper instruction and drills emphasizing proper techniques should contribute to a lower rate of concussion injury.

Research has demonstrated that the rate of concussion in contact sports indicates the need for special emphasis on specific sports related skills. Thus the instruction and drill of proper techniques in these specific sport segments is essential in order to minimize potential for injury.

Coaches should place special emphasis during practice sessions specifically on proper individual heading techniques, heading duals and aerial challenges.

Graduated Return to Play Protocol

STAGE 1: LIGHT AEROBIC ACTIVITY

Begin stage 1 when: Athlete is cleared by health care provider and has no symptoms.

Sample activities for stage 1: 20-30 minutes walking or jogging

STAGE 2: HEAVY AEROBIC AND STRENGTH ACTIVITY

Begin stage 2 when: 24 hours have passed since athlete began stage 1 AND athlete has not experienced any return of symptoms in the previous 24 hours.

Sample activities for stage 2: Progressive resistance training workout consisting of the following:

  • Four laps around field and Ten 60 yard sprints.

STAGE 3: FUNCTIONAL, INDIVIDUAL SPORT-SPECIFIC DRILLS WITHOUT RISK OF CONTACT

Begin stage 3 when: 24 hours have passed since athlete began stage 2 AND athlete has not experienced any return of symptoms in the previous 24 hours.

Sample activities for stage 3: 30-45 minutes of functional/sport specific drills coordinated by coach. NOTE: no heading of soccer ball.

STAGE 4: NON-CONTACT PRACTICE

Begin stage 4 when: 24 hours have passed since athlete began stage 3 AND athlete has not experienced any return of symptoms in the previous 24 hours.

Sample activities for stage 4: Full participation in team’s regular strength and conditioning program. NOTE: no heading of soccer ball.

STAGE 5: FULL-CONTACT PRACTICE AND FULL PARTICIPATION IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Begin stage 5 when: 24 hours have passed since athlete began stage 4 AND athlete has not experienced any return of symptoms in the previous 24 hours.

Sample activities for stage 5: Unrestricted participation in practices.

STAGE 6: RETURN TO GAME

Begin stage 6 when: 24 hours have passed since athlete began stage 5 AND athlete has not experienced any return of symptoms in the previous 24 hours. 

 

Care Coordination Roles and Responsibilities

Providing appropriate support for an athlete who sustained a TBI/concussion requires a coordinated and collaborative team approach. The athlete, parent, and TJAY Soccer Club Administration and Coaches are integral partners in the management of TBIs/concussions. The roles and responsibilities of team members for the management of athletes with a suspected or diagnosed TBI/concussion may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Athlete

  • Notify appropriate TJAY Soccer coaching staff and parents/guardians about any head injuries

  • Increase education about and awareness of TBIs/concussions including an understanding of signs and symptoms.

  • Immediately inform TJAY Soccer coaching staff and parents/guardians in the event of injury and suspected TBI/concussion.

  • Participate in care planning, including accommodations for return to play authorization.

Parent/Guardian

  • Integral part of the process of planning, and coordination of care for the health and safety of the athlete.

  • Increase education about and awareness of TBIs/concussions.

  • Provide the TJAY Soccer Club with emergency contact information that is accurate and updated as needed.

  • Provide the school with complete and accurate medical information related to the student’s TBI/concussion including written health care provider documentation. 

TJAY Soccer Club Administration

  • Leader of the Club

  • Oversee/ensure implementation of club policies and protocols.

  • Communicate the importance of concussion management to all necessary staff.

  • Encourage communication between all parties.

  • Ensure concussion materials are available to coaches, athletes, and parents.

  • Ensure all coaches have completed annually a recognized concussion training course.

  • Collect all Accident/Concussion forms from coaches.

  • When athlete returns, collect the signed Return to Play clearance from the coach.

 Coaches

  • Provides leadership and adhere to the TJAY Soccer Club’s policies regarding concussion.

  • Supervision of the sport team to which he/she is assigned.

  • Ensure coaching staff, assistant coaches, parents/guardians, and students are educated about concussions.

  • Review safety techniques, sportsmanship, and proper equipment with athletes.

  • Understand the sport and create drills, practice sessions, and instruction to reinforce safety.

  • During practice and /or contests, remove an athlete if a TBI/concussion is suspected.

  • Contact parent/guardian to pick up athlete or call 911 if appropriate or parents cannot be located.

  • Provide parent and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with information about injury or suspected TBI/concussion including signs and symptoms observed.

  • Follow up with parents/guardian regarding athlete’s well-being.

  • Collect the signed Return-to-Play clearance and authorization form.

  • Provide a copy of the Return to Play clearance form to TJAY Soccer Board member.

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