CHILLIWACK FC - CONCUSSION POLICY

 
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT:  
Chilliwack FC is adopting this policy as part of its obligation to provide a safe playing environment for its players.

Awareness of concussion and effects of concussion on players, especially youth players, has increased over the past decade. Medically, a concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury. Because it is a brain injury, a concussion is not a visible injury, such as a broken arm. It requires time to heal properly, involving both physical and mental rest. Consequences may include loss of coordination or memory, vision problems, learning issues and changes in emotions and behavior.

A concussion may result from a direct blow to the head or from an indirect blow to the body that causes various forces to affect the brain within the skull. Signs and symptoms may appear immediately or may be noticed hours or days (or longer) later. There are a wide variety of symptoms which are possible. Loss of consciousness is not required to be diagnosed with a concussion. Adolescents require more time to recover from concussions than adults.

APPLICATION OF POLICY:  
This policy applies to all Chilliwack FC coaches, team managers, officials and players who are involved in Chilliwack FC programs.

REQUIREMENTS:  
All Chilliwack FC coaches, team managers and club officials are required to take the free CDC (Center for Disease Control) online training course “Concussion Training for Coaches” before they may coach. This rule goes into effect with the start of the 2015 spring soccer season. The certificate of completion at the end of the online course is proof the course has been taken. This course takes approx 35-40 mins to complete.

The training course can be accessed by clicking this link: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/online_training.html

Parents and players may also complete the course for their own information.


 

THE POLICY:

During practices or games coaches or team officials shall remove a player from active participation if the player exhibits the signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion, as outlined below, or is suspected of sustaining a concussion.

In the event of suspected concussion during a match or practice the team coach or official shall inform the parent/legal guardian about the possible concussion and the event surrounding the possible concussion.

Once a concussion has been diagnosed by a physician, a player may not be allowed to return to play until cleared in writing by their family doctor.

SYMPTOMS INFORMATION:  

If a player is experiencing ANY of the following symptoms as a result of a collision or impact with the ground DO NOT LET THEM PLAY.

  • Confusion, foggy/groggy feeling, sluggish
  • Dizzy, poor balance
  • Sensitivity to noise or light, blurry vision
  • Headache, feeling of pressure
  • Poor memory: can’t remember what they ate earlier that day, the score of the game, what happened, etc.
  • Poor coordination and concentration
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Males typically experience more cognitive symptoms such as fogginess and lack of concentration.
  • Females typically experience more somatic symptoms such as drowsiness, sensitivity to light, headaches, and nausea.


Players who have a suspected concussion should not be given pain relievers to mask symptoms (headaches). In addition, athletes should be supervised hourly for 24-48 hours following a suspected concussion to monitor for worsening symptoms. Do not leave them alone.


                                       

SIGNS OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY:  

The following symptoms qualify as a medical emergency and beyond just removing the player from the field, it is required that the player is to be admitted to the emergency ward of the nearest hospital…

  • Headaches that worsen  
  • Repeated vomiting  
  • Severe neck pain  
  • Seizures  
  • Increasing irritability
  • Weakness/Numbness in arms or legs  
  • Unable to recognize familiar faces/things  
  • Loss of consciousness or unable to be awakened easily.



PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

USE OF PROTECTIVE HEADGEAR:  
Does head gear work? The jury is out. One study that tested the head gear on mechanical models concluded that although it does not prevent concussions from ball to head contact it does significantly reduce concussions for head to head contact. At this time there are no conclusive studies on the effectiveness of head gear during actual soccer activities with players. The United States Soccer Federation medical staff has even voiced concern that head gear may actually promote head injuries via the superman effect or feeling like players are invincible to injury as a result of using the gear.

TIPS FOR COACHING THE CORRECT HEADING TECHNIQUES:   
Effective 2015 Chilliwack FC will be adopting a policy of using only lightweight soccer balls or volleyballs while coaching the proper heading technique.

  • Learn proper heading technique with contact with the ball at the hairline/forehead NOT the top of the head. 
  • Learn to properly prepare for contact with the ball and a mentality of initiating contact with the ball instead of letting the ball hit you. This will prepare the neck and postural muscles to help absorb impact and force to the body and head forward and make you a more effective player.
  • Use slightly under-inflated soccer balls with younger kids (U12 and younger) until they get comfortable with heading and learning proper technique.
  • Limit the amount of repetitive heading at practice to 5-10 minutes.