Concussion Information Sheet
Adapted from the CDC and the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport
Document created 6/15/2009

A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious. They are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly. In other words, even a “ding” or a bump on the head can be serious.

You can’t see a concussion and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away.
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
 Headaches
 “Pressure in head”
 Nausea or vomiting
 Neck pain
 Balance problems or dizziness
 Blurred, double, or fuzzy vision
 Sensitivity to light or noise
 Feeling sluggish or slowed down
 Feeling foggy or groggy
 Drowsiness
 Change in sleep patterns
 Amnesia
 “Don’t feel right”
 Fatigue or low energy
 Sadness
 Nervousness or anxiety
 Irritability
 More emotional
 Confusion
 Concentration or memory problems (forgetting game plays)
 Repeating the same question/comment
Signs observed by teammates, parents and coaches include:
 Appears dazed
 Vacant facial expression
 Confused about assignment
 Forgets plays
 Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
 Moves clumsily or displays incoordination
 Answers questions slowly
 Slurred speech
 Shows behavior or personality changes
 Can’t recall events prior to hit
 Can’t recall events after hit
 Seizures or convulsions
 Any change in typical behavior or personality
 Loses consciousness

What can happen if my child keeps on playing with a concussion or returns too soon?
Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences. It is well known that adolescent or teenage athlete will often under report symptoms of injuries. And concussions are no different. As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students is the key for student-athlete’s safety.

If you think your child has suffered a concussion
Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from the game or practice immediately. No athlete may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear, without medical clearance. Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours. The new “Zackery Lystedt Law” in Washington now requires the consistent and uniform implementation of long and well-established return to play concussion guidelines that have been recommended for several years:

a youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time”
“…may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed heath care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and received written clearance to return to play from that health care provider”.

You should also inform your child’s coach if you think that your child may have a concussion. Remember, it’s better to miss one game than miss the whole season. And when in doubt, the athlete sits out.

If you child has been diagnosed with a concussion they MUST follow a progressive return to participation protocol (under the supervision of an approved health care provider) before full participation is authorized.
The return to play protocol may not begin until the participant is no longer showing signs or symptoms of concussion. Once symptom free, the athlete may begin a progressive return to play. This progression begins with light aerobic exercise only to increase the heart rate (5-10 minutes of light jog or exercise bike) and progresses each day as long as the child remains symptom free. If at any time symptoms return, the athlete is removed from participation.
For current and up-to-date information on concussions you can go to:



Heading Guidelines


Posted at 14:25h in NewsShare


US Club Soccer is clarifying the following implementation guidelines for U.S. Soccer’s Recognize to Recover Player Safety Campaign, specifically as it relates to concussion initiatives and heading for youth players:

  • The Federation is recommending, and US Club Soccer is requiring immediately, new rules as it relates to heading, as follows:
  • Players in U-11 programs and younger shall not engage in heading, either in practices or in games.
  • Limited heading in practice for players in U-12 and U-13 programs. More specifically, these players shall be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes of heading training per week, with no more than 15-20 headers per player, per week.
  • Clubs should be aware of circumstances in which individual consideration is needed. For example:
    • A 10 year old playing at U-12 or older should not head the ball at all.
    • An 11 or 12 year old playing at U-14 or older should abide by the heading restrictions in practice.
  • Referees should enforce these restrictions by age group according to the specified rules. Referees will not be assessing the age of individual players on the field; they will enforce the rules for the age group.
  • Leagues and organizations are free to set their own standards, as long as the minimum requirements outlined above are met.
  • In adherence to these new requirements, referees have been instructed by U.S. Soccer of the following rule addition: When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick (IFK) should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.
  • Modified substitution rules also took effect Jan. 1, 2016, as follows: Any player suspected of suffering a head injury may be substituted for evaluation without the substitution counting against the team’s total number of allowed substitutions during the game.