Michigan was the 39th U.S. State to enact a law which regulates sports concussions and return to athletic activity. The law went into full effect on June 30, 2013. The sports concussion legislation requires all coaches, employees, volunteers, and other adults involved with a youth athletic activity to complete a concussion awareness on-line training program.
In order for WMYSA to maintain compliance with the law, we require all adults on an official roster to take Heads Up Concussion Training from the CDC through their GotSport account. We also require clubs to provide Concussion Awareness information to all players and their parents. After reading the information they must sign an acknowledgment document which must remain with the club until the player turns nineteen.
The law also requires immediate removal of an athlete from physical participation in an athletic activity who is suspected of sustaining a head injury. The student athlete must then receive written clearance from an appropriate health professional before he/she can return to physical activity.
Officials are responsible for recognizing a potential head injury and acting in accordance with the law. Therefore, when a player is suspected of a head injury, based on Michigan state law and WMYSA Rules and Regulations the player should:
- Be immediately removed from the practice or game and seek medical attention.
- The team should notify both the club and WMYSA Administrator responsible for scheduling.
- The Player should only return to play when cleared by a healthcare professional using the State Medical Clearance Concussion form.
- A copy of the completed healthcare form should be sent to the WMYSA Registrar responsible for scheduling and original provided to the club.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury which changes the way the brain normally works. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body which causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Even a “ding,”“getting your bell rung,” what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
- People don’t seem to realize most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
- Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury.
- Athletes who have, at any point in their lives, had a concussion have an increased risk for another concussion.
- Young children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.
Recognizing Signs Of a Concussion
- Does the player appears dazed or stunned?
- Do they forget instructions or seem confused about their assignment or position?
- Do they have a headache or feel “pressure” in their head?
- Do they feel nauseous or like vomiting?
- Do they have balance problems or dizziness?
- Do they have double or blurry vision?
- Do they seem to have a sensitivity to light?
- Do they have a sensitivity to noise?
- Do they feel sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy?
- Do they have a concentration or memory problems; unable to recall what happened prior to injury?
- Are they slow to respond or confused about questions?
- Are they just not “feeling right” or is “feeling down”?
When any official (coach, manager or referee) is dealing with a player suspected of having a head injury, they have both a moral and legal obligation to consider. The moral obligation is first and foremost to the player’s safety. The other obligation is in following the law. If you don’t remove a player who shows signs of a head injury, then you are violating the law and run the risk of placing yourself and your club in a potential legal situation. No one likes to take a player out of a game and require them to see a doctor when they simply bump their head. However, if the player displays any of these signs, then the likelihood you will be helping the player dingo more damage is far greater than the likelihood of them being fine if you allow them to continue. The law requires you to error on the side of caution; so do we.