Sanford Area Soccer League Concussion Policy
The health and wellness of players is the primary concern of the Sanford Area Soccer League (SASL) as well as with the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association that we fall under. As a result, NCYSA has established a policy through SPORTGAIT to govern the participation of players with potential head injuries, or are diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries/concussion.
The policy is intended to provide easy-to-understand guidelines related to players who have been diagnosed with a concussion or receive a possible head injury. Please note that the policy is in effect regardless of the completion of duties outlined in each party responsibilities denoted below.
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
According to the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.
A Sanford Area Soccer League player who sustains a suspected head injury/concussion at any time, in any circumstance, whether inside/outside the parameters of a SASL event (training, match, other) will not be allowed to resume play until SASL receives written approval stating the player may return to play without restriction. The written approval must come from a Medical Professional trained in concussion diagnosis/management.
· The Sanford Area Soccer League will seasonally distribute to all coaches CDC’s ‘Head’s Up: Concussion in Youth Sports, A Fact Sheet for Coaches‘.
· The Sanford Area Soccer League will maintain Concussion resources on its Website at all times.
· Coaches and Assistant Coaches are required Yearly to take the free CDC online training course Concussion Training for Coaches at www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp . The certificate of completion at the end of the training is proof the course has been taken. Coaches will need to forward a copy of the certificate to the SASL Director of Coaching.
· Parents are asked prior to the start of season, to review CDC’s ‘Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports, A Fact Sheet for Parents’ from the SASL website.
· According to Heads Up – to help recognize a concussion, you should watch for the following two things among your athletes:
1. A forceful blow to the head or body that results in rapid movement of the head.
2. Any change in the athlete’s behavior, thinking, or physical functioning.
IF A CONCUSSION/TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY IS SUSPECTED
· Coaches will remove the athlete from the game or training session and not allow the athlete to return to play for the remainder of the session.
· Coaches will inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the suspected concussion/TBI.
· Coaches or Team Managers will inform the SASL Director of Coaching and Travel Liasion by email as soon as possible.
· The athlete will not be allowed to resume play until SASL receives written approval from a Medical Professional trained in concussion diagnosis/management stating the athlete may return to play without restriction.
· Parents are required to fill out and sign the Concussion Document from SPORTGAIT.
· Parents are required (if they have a smartphone) to add the SPORTGAIT App to their phone for real time updates if their child obtains a head injury. The app also provides the closed medical facilities to any field the child is located on that has trained professionals related to Head/Brain Injuries.
· Parents will review the CDC concussion information linked to the SASL website.
· Parents / Guardians agree to disclose to SASL coach/staff information related to diagnosed concussions/TBI sustained by their child/ward in soccer activity or any other activity including those prior to the start of season.
· Athletes will be required to communicate openly and honestly with their coaches and parents/guardians regarding symptoms of TBI/concussion sustained.
· Parents/guardians are required to provide SASL written permission from a Medical Professional trained in concussion diagnosis/management stating the athlete is fit to resume play without restriction.
It is SASL policy to encourage baseline testing for older player participants to facilitate the return to play when a concussion occurs.
Baseline testing is an exam conducted by trained professionals to help assess a person’s brain functioning (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly a person thinks and solves problems) at a given point in time. The results of such a test can be compared to a similar exam if a concussion has occurred, to help evaluate whether the injured player is ready to return to play.
SASL recommends that players obtain baseline testing starting as early as age 10, with periodic re-testing as player participants grow
Disciplinary Action for Violating this Policy
In accordance with this policy, SASL shall institute minimum penalties for a coach found in violation of this policy.
(1) For a first violation, suspension from coaching for the remainder of the current season. If happening late in the current season, SASL reserves the right to amend the suspension to carry into the next season.
(2) For a second violation, suspension from all soccer activity for the remainder of the season and for the following season.
(3) For a third violation, permanent suspension from all soccer activity.