Awareness about the risks posed by sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI), also called concussions, has been growing in recent years. A TBI is caused by a direct blow to the head or neck or by a blow to the body that transmits force to the head (a whiplash-type injury). Blows may be due to a collision with another player, the ground, or an object such as a goalpost. Such blows cause the brain to move rapidly and impact against the inside of the skull. Even mild blows to the head can sometimes cause serious injury. The signs and symptoms of TBI can vary widely, ranging from severe headache, vomiting, and dizziness to a mild decline in coordination. They can appear right after the injury or not for hours or even days after. As the name implies, TBI represents an injury to the brain that must heal before players can be permitted to return to the field.
Boston Area Youth Soccer (BAYS), the travel league in which CCYS participates, requires that all coaches and assistant coaches take a recognized online training course related to concussion awareness and recognition. The online course created by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommended and a link is provided below. We also encourage parents to take the CDC training.
Below, the CCYS policy on suspected concussion or traumatic brain injury is summarized and links to the CDC concussion awareness page and other resources are provided.
CCYS policy for suspected concussion
- If a player sustains a blow to the head or a jarring collision that causes the coach to suspect a possible concussion, that player should not be permitted to participate for the remainder of the practice or game, regardless of how mild the injury may appear.
- Parents or legal guardians should be notified of any possible concussion as soon as possible after the injury.
- It is not the responsibility of CCYS coaches to determine when an injury has or may have occurred. If a coach requires a player to sit out, the player's parents should not return their child to play until the player is evaluated and given permission to return to full play by an appropriate medical professional.
- Any coach may prevent any player from returning to play if they have concerns that the player is still at risk. Parents or legal guardians bear the responsibility for ensuring that their child appropriately evaluated and is healthy enough to return to play.
CDC On-line Concussion Awareness Training link. After completing the course, please fill out the certificate of course completion (before navigating away from the page) and forward it to Heidi Kidder for our records. Completion of this course is required for all coaches and assistant coaches participating in the BAYS league.
Click here to for more information at the CDC website or use the direct links below.