RAGE Concussion Policy – PIM 021

On January 1, 2017, California Assembly Bill 2007 took effect statewide. The link for Assembly Bill No. 2007 follows.  Please read.

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2007

Pleasanton Girls Soccer Association (PGSA) has had a Concussion Policy in place since 2013 (see below). With the passing of Assembly Bill 2007, it is now REQUIRED to provide parents and players with information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in regards to concussions.  You can find that information by following the links below, and the supplemental information at the end of this PIM.

ALL players currently participating in soccer related activities, AND their parents (if the player is 17 years of age or younger), must review the information above, sign the CDC document, and return the signed form to the Club.  This will be done on a yearly basis before the athlete begins practice or competition.

 Note: Each PGSA coach and administrator is REQUIRED to successfully complete the concussion education at least once, either online or in person, before stepping on to the field to coach.

Heads Up online training video:

http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/Training/HeadsUpConcussion.html

We as a Club ensure compliance with the requirements for providing education, and with the athlete removal provisions and the return-to-play protocol.

PIM 021 – Concussion Policy

The Pleasanton Girls Soccer Association (RAGE) recognizes the need for increased awareness regarding concussions. RAGE has created the following Policy to provide Competitive and Recreational coaches, officials, parents, and players with guidelines for recognizing signs of a concussion, procedures to follow when a concussion is suspected, as well as policy concerning the return to play for an affected player.

DEFINITION

Concussion is well known to be a common injury in soccer. Concussions range from mild to severe and can occur at any age, and under varying circumstances.

A concussion is an alteration of brain function that can typically come from a blow to the head, but can also occur when sudden forces are applied elsewhere on the body and the forces are transferred to the head. For instance, a blow to the chest can cause a concussion. Loss of consciousness is a key, but NOT a required factor in the diagnosis of concussion. An individual may be concussed without a loss of consciousness.  A player showing signs of a concussion must be removed from the field and kept out of the training session or game.

RECOGNITION

Recognizable signs of concussion include:

  • Short-term memory loss. The player doesn’t remember the immediate    past: the injury, the action that preceded it, the score of the game, or who last scored.
  • Poor physical coordination. The player seems “out of sync” physically or verbally with teammates, or appears to be having difficulty moving with ease around the field.
  • Slurring or incoherent speech. The player’s words are slurred, or the player says or repeats phrases or sentences that make no sense.
  • A blank stare or display of disproportionate emotions.

Simple questions can be asked to further assess the player.  “Simple” means exactly that. The questions should elicit easy and obvious answers.  For example, “What’s your name?” “Where are you?” “Why are you here?” Alternatively, the player could be asked to follow simple directions, such as “put your gear down” or “stand next to me.”

RESPONSE

A player showing any of the aforementioned signs of a concussion must be removed from the field and kept out of the training session or game. 

Additionally, the player must be observed carefully for at least the next 30 minutes for any additional signs of concussion. Nausea and vomiting, disorientation, dizziness, momentary loss of consciousness, amnesia or persistent confusion can indicate a more serious concussion requiring medical attention.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATION

In addition to the standard response for suspected concussion, if any of the following is observed by any coach, player, official, or spectator following physical impact, immediate, qualified emergency medical assistance should be obtained. It is important to choose to err on the (recommended) side of caution.

  • The athlete goes limp, even for an instant.
  • The player’s eyes are closed and the player does not or apparently cannot open them.
  • The player is unresponsive to voice commands, questions or statements.
  • The player is unresponsive to tactile stimulus, such as a sharp hand or finger squeeze.

RETURN TO PLAY

A player who has sustained a concussion or has lost consciousness at any time during a game or practice should not play, practice, or take part in physical activity until she has written clearance from a qualified healthcare provider who has administered a neurological examination. A graded return-to-play protocol must be followed prior to resumption of full sporting activity. An athlete must be symptom-free at rest and with exercise prior to return-to-play.

An accurate diagnosis is the purview of qualified medical personnel.

If in doubt, sit the player out.

 SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

The links below are for information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Their “Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports” initiative gives coaches, parents, and players facts about concussions, signs and symptoms, and suggestions for prevention and treatment.

Heads Up online concussion training video:

http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/Training/HeadsUpConcussion.html

Coaches Information Fact Sheet:

https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/youthsports/coaches_engl.pdf

Parents Information Fact Sheet:

https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/youthsports/parents_eng.pdf

Players Information Fact Sheet:

https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/youthsports/factsheet_athletes_ages11-13-a.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/youthsports/factsheet_athletes_ages14-18-a.pdf