GYSA Concussion Policy

GORHAM YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION CONCUSSION POLICY
(Approved by the GYSA BOD January 2014)

The health and wellness of players is the primary concern of Gorham Youth Soccer Association. As a result, Gorham Youth Soccer Association has established a policy to govern the participation of players with diagnosed traumatic brain injuries/concussion.

The policy is intended to provide easy-to-understand guidelines related to players who have been diagnosed with a concussion. 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.

POLICY
A Gorham Youth Soccer Association player who sustains a diagnosed traumatic brain injury/concussion at any time, in any circumstance, whether inside/outside the parameters of a Gorham Youth Soccer event (training, match, other) will not be allowed to resume play until Gorham Youth Soccer Association 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.

 COACH/CLUB RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Gorham Youth Soccer Association will seasonally distribute to all coaches CDC’s ‘Head’s Up: Concussion in Youth Sports, A Fact Sheet for Coaches'.
  • Coaches and Assistant Coaches are required seasonally 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 GYSA Coaching Director.
  • 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 GYSA 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.
  • At the next scheduled team session the player may return to team activities with written permission from the athlete’s parents or guardians.
  • If upon return to play, the Coach suspects the athlete is exhibiting concussion symptoms, the athlete will be removed from play and the parents or guardian will be notified.
  • The athlete will not be allowed to resume play until GYSA receives written approval from a Medical Professional trained in concussion diagnosis/management stating the athlete may return to play without restriction.

PLAYER/PARENT/GUARDIAN

  • Parents / Guardians agree to disclose to GYSA 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.
  • In the cases where there is a diagnosed concussion, the parents/guardians are required to provide GYSA written permission from a Medical Professional trained in concussion diagnosis/management stating the athlete is fit to resume play without restriction. 
FOR MORE INFORMATION

Click here for more information from the CDC's Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports website.

Click here for more information from the Maine Department of Education regarding concussions.

CDC Fact Sheets:

Clipboard Fact Sheet for Coaches
Fact Sheet for Coaches
Fact Sheet for Parents
Fact Sheet for Athletes