Adopt the return to play protocol (★)
The recommended Return To Play protocol is based on the latest guidelines developed as part of the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport (ICCS). We encourage teams to adopt and enforce the protocol to ensure that athletes are protected against further injuries.
Educate your team (★)
Education is one of the most important aspects of any effective concussion management strategy. We encourage you to distribute concussion education materials to all athletes, officials, coaches and parents involved with your team. Invite your members to participate in online courses and, if possible, to obtain a certification on concussion recognition and management. Make sure that all your members have a good understanding of the team’s policies and protocols regarding concussions. It is recommended that you require members to sign a form yearly acknowledging the receipt of concussion education materials.
Create a Concussion Oversight Team (★★)
We encourage every team to identify or appoint a group dedicated to the oversight, enforcement and education regarding concussions. Each member of your Concussion Oversight Team (COT) should have completed training in the subject matter of concussions, including evaluation, prevention, symptoms, risks, and long-term effects. We recommend that every captain, coach and trainer in your team is included as a member of the COT and given the proper training.
Assign a concussion supervisor (★★)
At every practice and game, there should be a designated individual who is responsible for identifying athletes with symptoms or signs of concussion. That person should ideally be a physician or a health care professional with certified training in concussion assessment and management in athletes. If such an individual is not available, a member of your team’s Concussion Oversight Team or a person approved by your team who has received training in the recognition of symptoms and signs of a concussion could serve in that capacity.
In the case of a suspected concussion, the supervisor is also responsible for enforcing that the athlete is immediately removed from play, enforce does not return to play in the case a concussion is suspected and for creating documentation related to the injury event.
Get a baseline test for each athlete (★★★)
Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function as well as the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional.