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Concussion Management

US Soccer Federation Recommends Banning Headers For U10 and Below

Concussions are no laughing matter. We take concussion training seriously to the point of requiring all of our board members and coaches/assistant coaches to review and test on concussion awareness and back to play guidelines. 

Recently the US Soccer Federation recommended no headers at U10 and below age groups. We agree there are other options besides heading to control the ball and direct the ball. 

This recommendation however should not stop the teaching of safe and successful headers. We feel understanding the correct way to do headers is better than doing this incorrectly. 

Nebraska Legislature Enacts New Concussion Law - LB260

On April 14th, Governer Heineman signed into law LB260, the Nebraska Concussion Act.  This bill was sponsorted by Senator Lathrop of Omaha and takes affect July 1, 2012.  This bill affects any school having athletes 19 years old or younger, as well as any sports organizations, including youth leagues, clubs sports, or any organization sponsoring activity where there is a cost to participate or where such costs are sponsored. 

There are 3 primary components to the Nebraska Concussion Act:

  1. Education - (a) concussion educational training must be made available to all coaches on how to recognize symptoms of a concussion, and how to seek proper medical treatment. (b) Athletes and parents must be provided concussion information prior to an athletes participation on an annual basis that includes (i) signs & symptoms of a concussion, (ii)risks posed by sustaining a concussion, and (iii) actions an athlete should take in response to sustaining a concussion - including informing their coach.
  2. Removal of Athlete - an athlete presenting with signs or symptoms of a concussion thereby being "reasonable suspected of having sustained a concnussion (a) must be removed from participation, and (b) may not return to participation until evaluated by appropriate licensed health car professional, and
  3. Written & Signed Clearance for Return to Play (RTP) - an athlete having been removed from participation for the purpose of presenting with signs or symptoms or "reasonably suspected: of having sustained a concussion must have, before RTP or particpation is allowed by a coach, (a) written and signed clearance from an appropriate licensed health care professional, and (b) written and signed clearance from the athlete's parents. 

A Licensed Health Care Professional means a physician or licensed practicitioner.

The most painful aspect for coaches, parents and players dealing with concussions will be: "a ding is a concussion."  An athlete that got "dinged: or had their "bell rung" could be likely to present signs and symptoms and is to be considered having sustained a concussion - regardless at what point the signs and symptoms may appear.  Asking "Are you OK, can you go?" is no longer acceptable to access the athletes condition.  At this point the athlete will be removed from play and evaluated. 

If the athlete begins to show signs and symptoms; it is no longer up to the coach, parent or player return to play judgement is no longer up to the coach, RTP is reguired to return to play and needs to be reported to the division coordiantor.   An athlete may return to play provided an assessment was made and no such findings of signs or symptoms were apparent to the coach.  Systems can take hours to appear so players could likely sit out for 24 hours to be evaluated.