Link to the NFHS Concussion Course http://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/nfhs-concussion-course/

Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal brain function. An athlete does not have to lose consciousness (be “knocked out”) to have suffered a concussion.

Common Symptoms of Concussion Include:

• headache

• fogginess

• difficulty concentrating

• easily confused

• slowed thought processes

• difficulty with memory

• nausea

• lack of energy, tiredness

• dizziness, poor balance

• blurred vision

• sensitive to light and sounds

• mood changes- irritable, anxious, or tearful

Suggested Concussion Management:

1. No athlete should return to play (RTP) or practice on the same day of a concussion.

2. Any athlete suspected of having a concussion should be evaluated by an appropriate

health-care professional that day.

3. Any athlete with a concussion should be medically cleared by an appropriate healthcare

professional prior to resuming participation in any practice or competition.

4. After medical clearance, RTP should follow a step-wise protocol with provisions for

delayed RTP based upon return of any signs or symptoms.

For further details please see the “NFHS Suggested Guidelines for Management of

Concussion” at www.nfhs.org.

October 2009

REFEREE PROTOCOL FOR MANAGING PLAYERS WITH CONCUSSION SYMPTOMS

Q.     As a referee, what do I do if I see a player who is exhibiting one of these signs?

A.    Stop the game, call the coach or team designee onto the filed and report to that person the BEHAVIOR you witnessed. You are not diagnosing a condition or injury. Only report the BEHAVIOR you witnessed that warranted your calling the the coach or designee onto the field.

Q.    As a referee, when can I let the player return to the game?

A.    The player can return to the game at any legal substitution time for his or her team.

Q.    Will the referee need to see a note from a health care professional?

A.    Previously the referee was going to ask to see such a note. THE REFEREE DOES NOT NEED TO SEE A NOTE from a health care provider and SHOULD NOT ASK TO SEE ONE. The responsibility of the player returning to game lies with the coach or school. Referees will not be making medical determinations.

Q.    If the player returns and continues to, or again shows signs of concussion as above, what does the referee do?

 A.    Stop the game, call the coach or team designee onto the filed and report to that person the BEHAVIOR you witnessed. You are not diagnosing a condition or injury. Only report the BEHAVIOR you witnessed that warranted your calling the the coach or designee onto the field.

Note:     Referees do not make any type of medical assessment or diagnosis. Referees do not determine if a player may re-enter the game; or if they have been examined by a health care professional. These responsibilities lay with the player's team/school. The team will manage its players in making these decisions.

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