Head Injuries and Concussions Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide easy-to-understand guidelines for dealing with players suspected to have suffered a concussion as well as return to play protocols.
KYSA recognizes the potential danger and long-term health consequences of this often difficult to diagnose form of traumatic brain injury and follows BC Soccer’s Head Injuries and Concussion Protocols:
Never Underestimate a Head Injury
Two points are important in head injuries: firstly, you may have suffered a concussion and secondly, if you have, it is equally important to determine when you can safely return to play.
A concussion is a brain injury that may affect your memory, concentration, problem-solving and more. Because you do not need to lose consciousness to suffer a concussion, it can be difficult to recognise when you have suffered this injury. Common symptoms include: confusion, headache, dizziness, nausea and unsteadiness or loss balance.
For any player that may have experienced a head injury, use this assessment tool to decide if your player potentially has a concussion:
FIFA Sport Concussion Assessment Tool
If any of the described signs or symptoms are present, the player needs to be removed from play and should seek medical attention.
Return to Play
Most concussions will heal on their own over a period of several days. During this time, the player will need to rest and abstain from activities where concentration is necessary - including text messaging, video games, watching television or learning. When the player reports that they are free of symptoms, the step-by-step guide below will take the player gradually back to play. If the player does not experience any symptoms, this process should take about a week.
- No activity, complete rest. Once the athlete is asymptomatic, they process to level two. The athlete spends at minimum, one day at each stage.
- Light aerobic exercise, such as walking or stationary cycling, no resistance training. Performing step two with symptoms allows the athlete to move to step three. If symptoms return, the athlete moves back one stage and continues.
- Sport-specific training (eg. skating in hockey, running in soccer). Performing step three without symptoms allows the athlete to proceed to level four.
- Non-contact training drills.Performing step four without symptoms allows the athlete to proceed to level five.
- Full contact training after medical clearance.Performing step five without symptoms allows the athlete to proceed to level six.
- Game play.