Concussion Incident Policy and Protocol

  1. Definition - A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal brain function.  Medically, a concussion is a complex, pathophysiological event to the brain that is induced by trauma which may or may not involve a loss of consciousness.  Concussion results in a constellation of physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep-related symptoms.  Signs or symptoms may last from several minutes to days, weeks, months or even longer in some cases.

  2. Any player exhibiting the signs or symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury while participating in a UDFC-sanctioned activity (training, games, tournaments, scrimmages) shall immediately be removed by the coach from the activity for evaluation. 

  3. A player shall not be allowed to participate in a club activity if they have a possible concussion or have been diagnosed with a concussion received from a non-UDFC activity.

  4. A player with a possible concussion may not return to UDFC-sponsored soccer activities until evaluated and cleared for return by a health care provider trained in the evaluation and diagnosis of concussions.

  5. A player diagnosed with a concussion may not return to UDFC-sponsored soccer activities without written clearance by a health care provider specializing in concussion treatment and management. 

  6. A coach found in violation of this policy shall be subject to the following minimum penalties:

    1. For a first violation, suspension from coaching for the remainder of the season.

    2. For a second violation, suspension from all soccer activity for the remainder of the season and for the next season.

    3. For a third violation, permanent suspension from all soccer activity.


Step 1: Is emergency treatment needed?

Emergency treatment (i.e., call 911) is required in any of the following scenarios:

  • Spine or neck injury or pain

  • Behavior patterns change, unable to recognize people/places, less responsive than usual

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Seizures

  • Very drowsy / can't be awakened

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Increasing confusion or irritability

  • Weakness or numbness in arms and legs

Step 2: Did a possible concussion occur?

Remove the player from the activity and conduct a side-line assessment. 

Note if any of the following signs and/or symptoms are present:

  • Dazed look or confusion about what happened; inability to mentally focus

  • Difficulty with memory and/or answering questions

  • Neck pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, changes in vision or sensitivity to noises.

  • Slow reaction time, slurred speech, fatigue, or other abnormal physical behavior.

  • Coordination skills are below baseline tests for example, balance, reaction time, memory.

Step 3: If a possible concussion occurred, but no emergency medical treatment is needed, what should be done now?

  • Continue monitoring the player for the next 30 minutes.  Even if there are no further signs or symptoms of concussion, the player shall not return to UDFC activities. 

  • Notify the player’s parent/guardian.  Advise the parent/guardian to seek prompt medical evaluation. 

  • The player should be monitored for signs of concussion symptoms regularly for the next 1-2 hours and should not partake in any physical activities for at least 24 hours.

  • The player will not be permitted to leave without a parent/guardian or another adult after the parent/guardian has been notified.

  • Notify the Concussion Coordinator via phone or email within 2 hours of the end of the game/training.               

Step 4: Documentation

  • The Concussion Notification Form is to be completed and signed in duplicate by a team official.

  • If the player is able to do so, have the player sign and date the Form.  Otherwise, note “unavailable” on the player’s signature line.

  • Have a parent/guardian of the player, if present, sign and date the Form and keep one of the copies. If the parent/guardian is not present, the team official is responsible for notifying the parent/guardian by phone or email and providing a copy of the Form by email or mail within 24 hours.

  • A copy of the signed Form must be submitted to the UDFC Concussion Coordinator within 48 hours with a notation how the parent/guardian was notified if the Form is not signed by the parent/guardian.

Step 5: Conditions for return to play

  • A player with a possible concussion may return to play only after being cleared for activity by a health care professional trained in concussion diagnosis.

  • A player diagnosed with a concussion may return to play only after providing written clearance from a health care professional specializing in concussion treatment and management.