As we all know concussion is a serious issue for athletes of all ages and we now believe that young athletes may be more susceptible to post concussion issues than adult athletes. It is interesting to note that the most common mechanisms for soccer concussions is head to head contact while trying to head the ball (not actually heading the ball) and head to ground contact. We no longer use the phrases “they got their bell rung” or “they just got dinged” as both of these are typically concussive events.
Some may debate that the “concussion pendulum” has swung too far to the conservative side but be assured this is not the position of the Storm’s leadership. Independent of anyone’s opinion, the State of Oregon has been very clear about how concussions are to be handled by passing two laws (Max’s Law (OAR 581-022-0421) and Jenna’s Law (ORS 417.875) to protect youth athletes. Basically these laws state that if an athlete is suspected of having a concussion they must be removed from all activity immediately and cannot return that day and must be cleared by a “Health Care Professional” (MD, PA, DO or NP or Psychologist licensed by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners) prior to returning to activity.
How Do These Laws Affect our Club?
- If an athlete is removed from activity (by a coach or referee) because of suspected concussion (ANY concussion sign or symptom no matter how brief) the athlete must meet the following 2 conditions to return to activity:
- The athlete no longer exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (see below for a list); and
- The athlete receives a medical release form from a health care professional. (As defined above).
- The league is requiring referees to note in their game reports to note any athlete who was removed from the game for “suspected” concussion. This report then triggers the league needing a copy of the attached form to document the athlete has received a medical release from a health care professional.
At times we have encountered parents saying their son or daughter is “fine” and should be able to return to play. We would like to remind all of us that not long ago we grossly underestimated the potential long term effects of concussion, not to mention the potential life threatening effects of getting a second concussion before the first one is resolved.
We would encourage you to watch a short video about Zack Lystedt from Washington. Zack’s story is sad and we don’t share it with you to scare you but hopefully it will help all of us remember there is nothing more precious than our kid’s brains and we should be ultraconservative and take this serious.
Until the club finalizes a concussion policy, we will operate in the following way:
- Any athlete showing or reporting signs of a concussion after a blow to the head must be removed from activity until the following two conditions are met.
- The athlete no longer exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion; and
- The athlete receives a medical release form from a health care professional. (As defined above)
- If an athlete is removed from activity for a suspected concussion, the parents must be notified by the coach in person or by phone on that day and provided the “Return to Play Documentation Form”.
- The CSC Director of Coaching should be notified of the athlete’s removal within 24 hours.
- The “Return to Play Documentation Form” must be completed by a “Health Care Professional” (MD, PA, DO or NP or Psychologist licensed by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners)
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mark Hoffman via email or by phone 541-829-7885.