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SOTH Concussion policy

Sports on the Hill Concussion Management Policy


Approved and Adopted by the Board of Directors: February 14, 2015


    This Policy, adopted by the Board of Directors of the Sports on the Hill (“The Club”), will implement a standard operating procedure policy on managing and monitoring concussion injuries among athletes in the Club.

     A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when a blow or force to the head or body is followed by a change in behavior or functioning. This policy will be effective beginning February 14, 2015.

This policy was developed with the following factors/concerns set forth below:

    1. Proper concussion management is the law in DC. The Athletic Concussion Protection Act in DC, approved on October 20, 2011, applies to any athletic activity sponsored by a school, the Department of Parks and Recreation, or a private for-profit or nonprofit organization regardless of where the activity occurs in the District. This Act requires that coaches complete concussion training and mandates the removal from play of anyone suspected of sustaining a concussion in a practice or game. Furthermore, the Act requires that they may not return to physical activity until evaluated and cleared by a licensed health care provider.

    2. Proper concussion management is required of all member clubs in the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA). All clubs that are members of VYSA, of which Sports on the Hill is a member, adopt concussion management programs to manage concussion injuries among player participants in their programs and activities, beginning no later than January 1, 2016

    3. A reduction of risk for our athletes. The amount of misinformation regarding head injuries and concussions is staggering. Without proper education and policy, the risks associated with concussion increases.

    4. Increased public awareness of concussions in youth soccer. By developing and implementing a leading edge policy, the Club will make its members more aware of the issues associated with managing and monitoring concussion injuries among athletes.

    5. Most importantly, the policy will protect our athletes, parents, coaches, and the reputation of Sports on the Hill. Concussions in youth soccer can be dangerous and traumatic to those who suffer from them. A Club policy is the first-step to ensuring the safety of our athletes.

The goals of the policy are:

    1. To protect our athletes.

To educate our coaches, parents and guardians about the dangers of concussions and provide information and resources that they can use to educate themselves and their players on concussion identification, treatment and prevention.

To establish a policy and protocol that is consistent with the law in the District of Columbia, the state of Virginia, and the policy of VYSA.

    This policy was developed in collaboration with the SCORE program (Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery and Education) at Children’s National.

    The concussion policy itself has five parts: Education, Head Impact Protocol, Return to Physical Activities, Verification and Enforcement, and Baseline Testing.

Part 1 – Education

    · The Club will hold at least one (1) parent/coaches educational seminar per year on injury recognition, response, and return to physical activity protocol.

    · The Club will provide the coaches, parents or guardians of each youth participant, on an annual basis, information on the nature and risk of concussions, criteria for removal and return to physical activities, and risks of not reporting the injury and continuing physical activities. The club shall require each coach, parent or guardian to acknowledge receipt of such information and maintain such record for no less than seven years.

    · It is mandatory for a coach or other team representative (e.g., team manager or designated parent) to attend one of the educational seminars on injury recognition, response, and return to physical activity protocol offered each year. Exceptions to attendance are at the discretion of the Club.

    · Coaches and managers are encouraged to download the free Concussion Recognition & Response (CRR) phone application for on site evaluation of suspected concussions and make use of CDC materials (free download from website).

    · All coaches must address this policy with their players and parents.

Part 2 – Head Impact Protocol

    - In the event an athlete sustains a suspected head impact, they will be removed from physical activity immediately. This includes, but is not exclusively limited to, physical activity in games, practices, skill sessions, and other on-field activity and off-field activities.

    · The player will not be allowed to re-join physical activities until after he/she passes the CRR app or CDC symptoms checklist used to evaluate the player. Only if the child does not exhibit concussion symptoms is the player allowed to return to physical activities.

    · Symptom(s) arising after an impact to the head or body require that the player be removed from physical activity immediately and not allowed to return until cleared by a licensed health care provider, per DC State law.

    · If emergency medical care is needed, a call should be made to 911 to have the athlete taken to the ER.

    - Simply put, the Club policy is regarding concussions is: “when in doubt, sit it out.”

Part 3 – Return to Physical Activity

    · Once a player has been removed from physical activity due to a suspected concussion, a gradual return to physical activity must be completed when deemed appropriate by a licensed health care provider (not the team’s coach or parent) prior to participation in any on- or off-field physical activities. Team meetings and attendance at other nonphysical activities without participation in physical activity is okay.

    · Parental consent is not accepted for return to physical activity. The Club will notify the coach of the player’s return to physical activities upon receipt of a licensed or certified health care provider clearance.

    · Players who return to Club physical activity without proper medical authorization will be suspended from the club until such authorization is obtained and must appear before the executive Club President or Concussion Management Officer (CMO) for reinstatement. Failure to meet this requirement may include forfeiture of any and all Club dues paid and disqualification by the player from future Club activities at the discretion of the Club President.

    · The Club recommends that the athlete be referred to the SCORE program (Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery and Education) at Children’s National Health System ( or other trained healthcare professional for further evaluation.

Part 4 – Verification and Enforcement

    · The coach (or designee) is responsible for ensuring on that field injuries are appropriately addressed. If an injury does occur, the coach (or designee) will use the CRR application or other CDC materials to determine the presence of symptoms and next steps (e.g., return to physical activity if no symptoms; remain out of physical activity if symptoms).

The Club will appoint a Concussion Management Officer (CMO) who will maintain a record of attendance by coaches and managers at educational seminars.

Each year, the Club will provide a copy of this policy to the VYSA State Office, no later than October 31.

Part 5 – Baseline Testing

    · Baseline testing is an exam conducted by trained professionals that is used to help assess a person’s brain functioning (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly the athlete thinks and solves problems). Results from baseline tests can be compared to a similar exam if there is a suspected concussion. The Club does not hold the baseline test results nor is involved in the administration or the interpretation of baseline test results.

The Club recommends to all of its parents the each player be baseline tested by a professional testing agency as an aid to concussion identification and treatment.

Other general recommendations include that players age 12 and younger be tested every 12 months, and those 13+ years of age every 2 years. The Club understands and acknowledges that many athletes participating in high school sports already take a baseline test and therefore need not take an additional test.

    Please see the following from the CDC for more information: