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Virginia Legacy's Concussion Recognition and Response Policy (the “CRRP”) implements a standard operating procedure for monitoring concussion injuries of Virginia Legacy players. A concussion is defined as a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. It is followed by a change in behavior or performance.
The CRRP is effective as of the adoption date, beginning in the spring season of 2015/2016 seasonal year.
The CRRP was developed with the following factors in mind:
- A reduction of risk for Virginia Legacy players. Concussions are a real medical risk in youth sports. Increased education will help to ensure that when concussions occur in a Virginia Legacy game or training setting, they will be managed using a standard process. At the same time, there is a great deal of misinformation regarding head injuries and concussions. Without proper education and policy, the risks associated with concussions increase.
- Increased public awareness of concussions in youth soccer and youth sports.
By educating our coaches, staff, and membership about concussions Virginia Legacy aims to both reduce the risks to our players and to increase public awareness and sensitivity to the symptoms and proper treatment of concussion policy.
The goals of the CRRP are to:
- Protect our players.
- Educate our coaches and staff.
- Educate our parents and identify resources parents can use to educate themselves and their children/players on concussion identification, treatment, and prevention.
- Develop a policy and protocol that is consistent with the law in the State of Virginia.
The CRRP has three parts: Education, Head Impact Protocol & Verification, and Return to Play.
- Virginia Legacy will have a standing agenda item at all coaches’ meetings (once per year) and Travel team managers’ meetings which addresses head injury recognition and return to play protocol. Any coach or team manager that is unable to attend will be provided the information by his/her respective Director of Coaching or Administrator.
- All coaches and Travel team managers shall download the Concussion Recognition & Response (CRR) phone application for on site evaluation of head impacts and familiarize themselves with the Centers for Disease Controls & Prevention (CDC) educational materials, in particular the CDC Concussion Symptoms Checklist.
- All Travel Coaches, ADP Coaches, and Directors of Coaching are required to complete the Heads Up Online Concussions Course available below and submit the certificate of completion to the designated club representative.
- A standing agenda item will be created for the Travel Managers’ Meeting discussing the CRRP and the role the manager will play in passing information along to their respective teams.
- A Travel coach and/or Travel team manager on each Legacy team will review the CRRP at a parent meeting and provide team parents with the links referenced above.
- All members are provided the CDC Parent and Athlete Concussion Information Sheet at time of registration and must acknowledge receipt prior to the player being rostered for the season.
- Virginia Legacy recommends all parents install the Concussion Recognition & Response (CRR) phone application on their personal smart phones and familiarize themselves with the CDC Concussion Symptoms Checklist.
- Virginia Legacy ADP and Recreational coaches will be provided CDC Concussion Symptoms Checklist and other CDC Concussion documents at the preseason coach’s meeting and via the coach registration program with electronic verification of receipt of the documents.
- Virginia Legacy recommends all players take the Baseline Concussion test available to them at no charge - to help assist in the recovery/evaluation process in the event of a suspected concussion.
Head Impact Protocol & Verification
- In the event a Virginia Legacy player sustains a suspected concussion he or she will be removed from the activity immediately. This includes but is not exclusively limited to games, training sessions, skill sessions, other on-field activities.
- In the absence of a qualified licensed health care professional, the player shall be evaluated by a coach/team manager utilizing the CRR phone evaluation or CDC Concussion Symptoms checklist. If after evaluation, a player is removed from the field of play with a suspected concussion they shall be kept out of play the day of the injury unless cleared by a Health Care Provider.
- When the player exhibits one or more of the symptoms of concussion after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, the player shall not be allowed to return to any Virginia Legacy activity until after he or she is reviewed and cleared by a licensed health care provider, per Virginia State law, and documentation is provided to the Legacy office. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right away after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury.
- When emergency medical care is needed in the absence of the parent or guardian, the coach/manager shall call 911 and have the player taken to the ER, along with the notarized medical release form obtained from each family before the start of the season.
- In any situation, a parent may elect to remove his or her child from the activity if the parent is concerned about a head injury or potential head injury.
- Any Virginia Legacy coach –and specifically the designated head coach of the team – supervising a game or team activity is responsible for observing head injuries and being sensitive to activities that have the potential for head injury.
- As per above, if an injury or suspected injury occurs, the coach, team manager or a designated parent will use the CRR phone evaluation and/ or CDC Concussion Symptoms checklist to determine the presence of symptoms and next steps as above.
- Team coaches are required to report to their Director of Coaching any player removed from the field for an evaluation after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body or other injury. The Director of Coaching shall contact the player’s parent or guardian regarding the status of the player’s medical evaluation (if any) and the results.
- Given the serious nature of concussions and the difficulty in diagnosing brain trauma, caution should be used in the evaluation of symptoms and the return to play.
Return to Play
- Once a player has been removed from play due to suspected concussion or has failed the CRR/CDC guidelines, medical clearance by a licensed healthcare provider must be provided in writing to the Director of Coaching or Virginia Legacy Office prior to the player’s participation in Virginia Legacy physical activities.
- Once clearance to play has been authorized by a licensed healthcare provider, Virginia Legacy will institute the gradual return to play (i.e. managing it just like a player recovering from any injury – taking it slowly until the player and coach feel confident to fully participate).
- Parental consent alone is not acceptable for return to play.
- Coach consent alone is not acceptable for return to play.
- If parents are seeking a specialized medical evaluation or need assistance in obtaining information, Virginia recommends speaking to your family physician.
CONCUSSION RELATED RESOURCES:
Heads Up Concussion Course
Below are resources provided by Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) in an effort to help clubs educate their members about the importance of Concussion Management:
CDC Heads Up Program - http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/ (Comprehensive info for players and coaches)
Concussion Recognition and Response (CRR) - http://www4.parinc.com/Products/Product.aspx?ProductID=CARE_APP
app Care: Sport App for trainers, medical personnel http://www4.parinc.com/Products/Product.aspx?ProductID=CARE_APP
Sports Concussion Institute http://www.concussiontreatment.com/concussionfacts.html
Think Taylor – Organization started by Taylor Twellman to assist with education of the public concerning traumatic head injuries (concussions) http://www.thinktaylor.org/