FSBL Concussion Policy
A concussion is a brain injury that is characterized by an onset of impairment of cognitive and/or physical functioning, and is caused by a blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body that causes a sudden jarring of the head (i.e., a helmet to the head, being knocked to the ground).
A concussion can occur with or without a loss of consciousness, and proper management is essential to the immediate safety and long-term future of the injured individual.
A concussion can be difficult to diagnose, and failing to recognize the signs and symptoms in a timely fashion can have dire consequences.
Most athletes who experience a concussion can recover completely as long as they do not return to play prematurely. The effects of repeated concussions can be cumulative, and after a concussion, there is a period in which the brain is particularly vulnerable to further injury.
If an athlete sustains a second concussion during this period, the risk of permanent brain injury increases significantly and the consequences of a seemingly mild second concussion can be very severe, and even result in death (i.e., “second impact syndrome”).
Appropriate licensed health care provider is defined as a physician, physician assistant, osteopath or athletic trainer licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine; a neuropsychologist licensed by the Board of Psychology; or a nurse practitioner licensed by the Virginia State Board of Nursing.
Return to play is defined as the ability to participate in a non-medically supervised practice or athletic competition.
In order to participate in any athletic activity each player and player’s legal guardian shall review information on concussions provided by FSBL. After having reviewed materials describing the short and long term health effects of concussions, each player’s legal guardian will acknowledge review and understanding of such information.
A player suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury in a practice or a game shall be removed from the activity at that time. A player who has been removed from participation for a suspected head injury shall not return to play that same day.
A player will not be allowed to return to play until an appropriate licensed health care professional provides a written clearance for the player to return to participation.