Athletics » Return to Activity & Post Concussion Info & Form

Return to Activity & Post Concussion Info & Form

“Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional.” The language above, which appears in all National Federation sports rule books, reflects a strengthening of rules regarding the safety of athletes suspected of having a concussion. This language reflects an increasing focus on safety and acknowledges that the vast majority of concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness. This protocol is intended to provide the mechanics to follow during the course of contests when an athlete sustains an apparent concussion.
1. The officials will have no role in determining concussion other than the obvious one where a player is either unconscious or apparently unconscious. Officials will merely point out to a coach that a player is apparently injured and advise that the player should be examined by a health care professional for an exact determination of the extent of injury.
2. If it is confirmed by the school’s designated health care professional that the student did not sustain a concussion, the head coach may so advise the officials during an appropriate stoppage of play and the athlete may reenter competition pursuant to the contest rules.
3. Otherwise, if competition continues while the athlete is withheld for an apparent concussion, that athlete may not be returned to competition that day but is subject to the return to play protocol.
     a. The clearance may not be on the same date on which the athlete was removed from play.
     b. Only an M.D., D.O., Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner may clear the individual to return to activity.
     c. The clearance must be in writing and must be unconditional. It is not sufficient that the M.D., D.O., Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner has approved the student to begin a return-to play progression. The medical examiner must approve the student’s return to unrestricted activity.
     d. Individual school, districts and leagues may have more stringent requirements and protocols including but not limited to mandatory periods of inactivity, screening and post-concussion testing prior to the written clearance for return to activity.