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Concussion Protocol

Concussion Information and Protocol

The following policy will be adopted by all members within the Spotsylvania Grassroots Soccer.  All members will be subject to the rules and guidelines provided.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head.  Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.  
Most athletes with a concussion will recover quickly and fully. But for some athletes, signs and symptoms of concussion can last for days, weeks, or longer.  If an athlete has a concussion, his or her brain needs time to heal. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within a short time period (hours, days, weeks)—can slow recovery or increase the chances for long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling or permanent brain damage. It can even be fatal.

Concussion Education: North FC will do it’s best to educate its members on how to recognize signs and symptoms of concussions, along with the protocol in dealing with this injury.  We will continue to provide members with up to date information about concussion protocol, signs and symptoms, and recovery via this webpage.

Signs and Symptoms: Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

Observed by Coaches, Trainers and Parents

Symptoms Reported by Athlete

· Appears dazed or stunned

· Is confused about assignment or position

· Forgets an instruction

· Is unsure of game, score or opponent

· Moves clumsily

· Answers questions slowly

· Loses consciousness (even briefly)

· Shows mood, behavior or personality changes

· Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall

· Can’t recall events after hit or fall

· 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

· Confusion

· Just “not feeling right” or “feeling down”


Concussion Protocol (Established by US Youth Soccer)

Step 1:  Did a concussion occur?  

REMOVE THE PLAYER FROM THE MATCH/TRAINING/ACTIVITY and evaluate his/her condition, paying particular attention to the symptoms noted above.

Step 2:  If emergency treatment is needed, please call 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY if the player is showing ANY of the signs listed below:

·       Spine or neck injury/pain

·       Behavior patterns change; unable to recognize people/places; less responsive than usual.

·       Loss of consciousness

·       Headaches that worsen

·       Seizures

·       Very drowsy, can't be awakened

·       Repeated vomiting

·       Increasing confusion or irritability

·       Weakness, numbness in arms and legs 

Step 3: If a possible concussion occurred (Yet no emergency treatment is needed)

Every 5-10 minutes (and for the next 1-2 hours) evaluate the player, paying particular attention to the following areas:

·       Balance and movement

·       Speech

·       Memory, instructions, and responses.

·       Attention on topics and details

·       Ability to concentrate

·       State of consciousness

·       Mood, behavior, and personality

·       Headache or “pressure” in head

·       Presence of nausea or vomiting

·       Sensitivity to light and noise 

Even if the player is showing no signs or symptoms within 15-20 minutes of the impact/injury, the athlete MAY NOT re-enter the match, training or partake in any activities for the next 24 hours.

The player should be evaluated by a Certified Athletic Trainer or, if not available on site, his/her personal physician as soon as possible.  

Step 4:  A player diagnosed with a possible concussion may return to play only after release from a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy specializing in concussion treatment and management

Return to Play Guidelines (Post-Concussion)

Spotsylvania Grassroots Soccer will follow the following five-step program for safely returning an athlete to play.  Each step must take at least 1 day before moving on to the next step.

Step 1:Light Aerobic Activity

Goal:Increased heart rate
Time:5-10 minutes
Activity:Low Intensity stationary bike, walking or light jogging

Step 2:Moderate Activity

Goal:Limited body and head movement
Time:Reduced from typical routine

Activity:Moderate jogging, brief running, moderate-intensity stationary bike and moderate intensity weightlifting.

Step 3:Heavy, Non-contact Activity

Goal:More intense workout, but no contact
Time: Close to typical routine
Activity:Running, high-intensity stationary biking, the player’s regular weightlifting routine, and non-contact sport-specific drills. This stage may add some cognitive component to practice in addition to the aerobic and movement components introduced in Steps 1 and 2.

Step 4:Practice and Full Contact

Goal:Reintegrate into full training
Time:Typical routine

Activity:Normal training session

Step 5:Competition

Goal:Return to competition
Time:Normal game participation
Activity:Game ready

It is important to monitor symptoms and cognitive function carefully during each increase of exertion. Players should only progress to the next level of exertion if they are not experiencing symptoms at the current level. If symptoms return at any step, an athlete should stop these activities as this may be a sign the athlete is pushing too hard. Only after additional rest, when the athlete is once again not experiencing symptoms for a minimum of 24 hours, should he or she start again at the previous step during which symptoms were experienced.

All Concussions must be reported by the players’ coach to the appropriate Spotylvania Grassroots Soccer Head Coach, Bill Lanza immediately upon diagnosis by a certified professional - call or text 703-568-0327.  No player can return to action until cleared for action and that administrator notified.  More information could be found under CDC’s homepage.

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