Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 10.47.39 AMFIFA and US National Soccer Organizations’ newest excuse (#5 if you are keeping count) to abandon any responsibility toward concussion is they do “n0t own the soccer fields.”

This is the latest development of #TheFIFA5 Lawsuit that pits three mothers and two female college students vs FIFA, soccer’s worldwide governing body—the Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association, soccer’s worldwide governing body and affiliated soccer organizations in the United States – US Soccer, US Club Soccer USCS, American Youth Soccer Organization AYSO, and California Youth Soccer Association, Inc, in the class action lawsuit filed on August 27, 2014. 

A second round of paperwork filed by FIFA and the US national soccer organizations adds a new twist to the “Concussions are not our problem” argument by arguing they don’t own the soccer fields to the claim of “no direct contact with players” thus powerless and landless, they have no influence over youth concussion policy.

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For a quick review of the the first round of Motions to Dismiss papers, the international or national soccer organizations stated they were NOT responsible to change any rules around concussion issues because:

  1. They “lack direct contact with the players.” THUS SHIFTING BLAME TO THE VOLUNTEER COACHES
  2. They “have no duty to make the game safer or to ameliorate risks inherent in the sport; their only duty is to not increase such risks. “ STATUS QUO IS STATUS QUO
  3. FIFA clearly states it “has no legal duty to Plaintiffs to prevent risks that are inherent in the sport, like those from heading a soccer ball.”  PARENTS – YOU KNEW THE RISKS FOR YOUR CHILDREN
  4. US Soccer states, “Legislature in each of those states has specifically addressed the issue of concussion management for youth sports, and none has imposed such obligations on an organization like US Soccer. Rather, like the Consensus Statement, the focus of the various state concussion laws is on educating and assigning responsibility to those individuals who have direct contact with the players to prevent a child suspected of having suffered a concussion from returning to play without first obtaining clearance from the child’s medical provider.” THOSE THE VOLUNTEER COACHES AGAIN…

And now a fifth reason:

      5. They don’t “own the soccer fields.”  THUS SUE THE TOWN AND THE SCHOOLS

These papers a chilling read as “not our responsibility” approach will do more to scare the volunteer coach away from working with kids than asking them to do 20 min online CDC training course as Norwalk has so successfully done. Norwalk’s City Concussion Plan has addressed concussion education and policy by using their ownership of the sports fields and gyms for the greater good of youth sports. Unfortunately, FIFA, US Soccer, US Club Soccer USCS, American Youth Soccer Organization AYSO, and California Youth Soccer Association, Inc, seem to believe they are powerless and blameless over a simple policy change which would make the beautiful game safer for all.

A new research study and a new defense by soccer organizations in the #TheFIFA5 lawsuit seem to confirm a citywide concussion plan maybe a very effective way to make sports safer for kids and lower liability for teams and city alike.

Highlights

  • ALL FOR ONE: Norwalk, CT successfully launches new citywide concussion plan for all youth sports
  • CONCUSSION LAWS WORK: Dr. Trojian published new study showing the positive effect of The Connecticut State Concussion Law
  • WE DON’T OWN THE FIELDS: Fifa and national soccer organizations’ new excuse to avoid taking a stand on youth concussion

All For One (City)

On April 15, 2015, Norwalk, CT became the first municipality in the country to enact a citywide Youth Concussion Plan governing all sports teams who use city and school fields/gyms. The plan was unanimously approved by the city council and the Norwalk Concussion Guidelines took effect on April 15, 2015, covering the over 6,000 youth players and 800 coaches who were not covered by the state’s concussion law due to a legal loophole. Based on the SportsCAPP model, I proposed the citywide plan to help youth sports teams to address concussions in young athletes and try to reduce liability exposure for coaches and the city.

As of end of April, all spring-season sports have successful trained their volunteer coaches using the online CDC training course. The Norwalk sports teams have almost unanimously responded with support, before and after the city vote, as they saw the potential benefits of increased safety and lowered liability . A few teams had fears of increased administrative work but were able to meet the deadline with less effort than they thought.

And this week at opening day and first team meetings, parents are given CDC fact sheets and/or emailed links to engaging, cartoon videos to educate the video-centric youth players. Parents and team managers alike have been pleased with the program so far as the first phase of implementation draws to a close.

Now as the season starts, coaches will be required to pull any athlete suspected of a possible concussion, notify parents, and only allow the athlete to RTP with a doctor’s note. The teams are also required to report any suspected concussions to parks and rec using the CRR a free concussion app or an paper form I created (to use until CRR hopefully creates a paper version).

Preparations are being made to hold a citywide medical training in July for all providers to update their practices in concussion evaluation and management because I expect more young athletes will seek medical care for possible concussions.

Concussion Laws Work

A new study shows that concussion laws do seemed to increase the number of athletes who seek medical care for their concussions. Dr. Thomas Trojian of Drexel University College of Medicine was lead author of a new study that showed a sharp increase in the number of youth athlete receiving medical treatment for sports-related concussions after CT concussion laws were passed in 2010. The findings are published in Springer’s journal Injury Epidemiology:

Dr. Trojian and his team’s study is among the first to investigate whether such a state law has had an effect on the medical system. They analyzed the emergency room records of two major trauma centres in Connecticut. A marked increase in the frequency of high school students being treated for sports-related concussions was found. This went up from 2.5 visits per month prior to the law being passed, to almost six per month thereafter. This suggests that the state’s sports-related concussion law has helped to improve the evaluation and detection of such injuries among high school students, by increasing obligatory emergency room visits.

Source: Trojian, T. et al (2015). The Effects of a State Concussion Law on the Frequency of Sport-Related Concussions as Seen in Two Emergency Departments, Injury Epidemiology . DOI 10.1186/s40621-015-0034-7

“We Don’t Own the Soccer Fields”

FIFA and US National Soccer Organizations’ newest excuse to abandon responsibility is they do “n0t own the soccer fields.”  This is the latest development in the second round of #TheFIFA5 Lawsuit that pits three mothers and two female college students vs FIFA, soccer’s worldwide governing body—the Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association, soccer’s worldwide governing body and affiliated soccer organizations in the United States – US Soccer, US Club Soccer USCS, American Youth Soccer Organization AYSO, and California Youth Soccer Association, Inc, in the class action lawsuit filed on August 27, 2014. 

A second round of paperwork by FIFA and the US national soccer organizations adds a new twist to the “Concussions are not our problem” argument by arguing they don’t own the soccer fields to the other claims of no direct contact with players thus they have no influence over concussion policy.

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For more on this, read “Excuse #5: We Don’t Own the Soccer Fields”

This continued “not our responsibility” approach by soccer will do more to scare the volunteer coaches away from working with kids than asking them to do 20 min online CDC training course as Norwalk has so successfully done.

Summary

Norwalk’s City Concussion Plan has addressed concussion education and policy by using their ownership of the sports fields and gyms for the greater good of youth sports. Unfortunately, FIFA, US Soccer, US Club Soccer USCS, American Youth Soccer Organization AYSO, and California Youth Soccer Association, Inc, seem to believe they are powerless and blameless over a simple policy change which would make the beautiful game safer for all.

1. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? 

Our youngest child athletes by being coached by adult volunteers with little or no concussion education.

2. WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?

Untrained coaches who do not know how to recognize and respond to a possible concussion, increase the risk of more serious injury for child athlete. Ignoring the signs of a concussion and not removing a child from play also increases risk of liability for coaches, teams and city/school (whoever owns the fields on which the sports are being played).

3. HOW CAN YOUTH SPORTS INCREASE SAFETY AND LOWER LIABILITY?

Three key elements need to be in place:

  1. Free resources for training/education via online training/videos, paper flyers, and smart phone apps
  2. Proper concussion policy
  3. A coach/parent/player concussion plan MUST BE MANDATED by the city and/or the sports organization

4. IS IT POSSIBLE TO MANDATE CONCUSSION TRAINING AND NOT UPSET COACHES?

Yes, programs which have done so report that coaches find the training of value to them.

5. WHERE HAS MANDATED COACH TRAINING BEEN SUCCESSFUL?

The BokSmart Program: A COUNTRY WIDE PROGRAM

  • 100% of Youth Rugby Coaches in South Africa are trained 
  • 78,000 coaches trained across the country in concussion education plus other first aid skills
  • 8 hour course – must be taken first BEFORE a coach can coach a game. Refs check training cards before each match
  • 100% of youth rugby players in the country now have trained coaches plus ALL INJURIES are tracked (KEY)

TCYFL – The Chicagoland Youth Football League: A REGIONAL PROGRAM

  •  42 Communities in the Chicago Metro area
  • 1857 coaches trained in concussion management using 90 min video
  • 100% of Injuries are tracked weekly using injury reporting software (KEY)
  • 360 teams all have at least 5 trained coaches
  • 8615 youth football players now have trained coaches
  • 180 games each weekend all covered by certified athlete trainers
  • 360 team’s practices are covered by safety player coaches
  • 0 the number of coaches who left due to the additional burden of concussion training
  • 2 parents complained the first year and none the second

The City of Norwalk: A CITY PROGRAM (VIA PARKS AND REC) – Start date April 15, 2015

  • 6,000 youth players
  • 700 coaches
  • 30 minute CDC Coach Training for all coaches, CDC fact sheets for parents/athletes
  • Affects five baseball leagues, two soccer leagues, citywide lacrosse league plus the town sponsored basketball, field hockey and football teams

6. BASED OF THE SPORTSCAPP.COM MODEL, WHAT ARE THE NORWALK CONCUSSION GUIDELINES?

  • User Groups or Organizations = mean any group or organization that has been granted permission to use any City of Norwalk recreation facility
  • Athletic Activities and/or Athletic Programs = all activities including practices, training, performances, scrimmage, games and other organized competitions involving athletic activities such as sports and dance

To use any City of Norwalk recreation facility, a “User Group” providing “Athletic Activities or Programs” to children (age 7 to 18) must:

  1. Educate Coaches, Parents, and Athletes: 
    • Inform and educate coaches, through FREE CDC ONLINE training
    • Educate athletes and parents and guardians about concussion via CDC concussion information sheet
  2. Remove From Play any Athlete who is showing signs, symptoms, behaviors of concussion
  3. Obtain Permission to Return to Play: An athlete can only return to play or practice after at least 24 hours and with permission from a health care professional
  4. Record and submit to Parks & Rec any concussions over the season

7. WHY IS DATA COLLECTION ESSENTIAL?

Only by collecting data can programs and policies be benchmarked and reviewed. All policy should be based on data.

8. HOW DO COACHES ACCESS FREE CDC ONLINE TRAINING?

9. PER THE CDC WEBSITE, WHICH ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT THE CDC CONCUSSION TRAINING?

  • US Lacrosse
  • US Soccer
  • USA Baseball
  • USA Football
  • USA Rugby
  • USA Volleyball
  • YMCA of the USA
  • Amateur Athletic Union
  • Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
  • American School Health Association
  • American School Health Association
  • American Sports Education Program
  • Brain Injury Association of America
  • Brain Trauma Foundation
  • Center for Injury Research and Policy, the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Children’s National Medical Center
  • Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
  • Emergency Nurses Association
  • Health Resources and Services Administration, EMS for Children
  • Health Resources Services Administration, Traumatic Brain Injury Program
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Matthew Alan Gfeller Sport-Related TBI
  • Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Mayo Clinic
  • MSU, Institute for the Study of Youth Sports
  • National Academy of Neuropsychology
  • National Alliance for Youth Sports
  • National Association of School Nurses
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Council for Youth Sports
  • National Education Association
  • National Education Association Health Information Network
  • National Federation of State High School Associations
  • National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
  • National Program for Playground Safety
  • National Recreation and Park Association
  • North American Brain Injury Society
  • Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
  • President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
  • Safe Kids Worldwide
  • Safe States Alliance
  • Sarah Jane Brain Foundation
  • Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education & Recreation 
  • Sports Legacy Institute
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Sports Medicine Concussion Program

10. HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE COACHES TRAINING COURSE BE TAKEN?

Due to the quick pace of coaches aging through youth sports teams, SPORTSCAPP.com recommends this test be taken on a yearly basis.

11. CAN THE COURSE BE TAKEN IN A GROUP SETTING RATHER THAN ON SOLO ON A COMPUTER OR SMART PHONE?

Yes, this is ideal way to train and since a live Q&A session can provide sports’ specific experience. Some local football and lacrosse teams have already provided this type of training. But the course can also be taken by an individual anywhere there is internet access and a computer, iPad or iPhone.  

12. HOW CAN A CERTIFICATE BE GENERATED TO SHOW THE COACH TOOK THE COURSE?

  1. When the coach clicks on the course link, he/she will be asked to providIMG_8776e their full name before the course begin
  2. At the end of the course, the program will offer a certificate to print or download as a PDF or a palm card
  3. The certificate can then be printed and scanned then emailed to the team administrator. A PDF can simply be mailed

13. WHO SHOULD GET A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE?

Documentation of the coach successfully completing the course should be:

  1. Kept by the coach accessible practices and games – saved on phone or paper
  2. Sent to the team or User Group or Organization and produced for verification of compliance by the Recreation Department prior to any permit or license being granted for the use of any City of Norwalk facility for each sport season
  3. There are plans which will be announced in the near future of a centralized registry

14. WHAT IS A FREE APP WHICH CAN INCREASE SAFETY FOR PLAYERS AND LOWER LIABILITY FOR COACHES? 

Screen-Shot-2014-10-23-at-1.09.29-PM-150x150CONCUSSION RESPONSE GUIDE + PARENT NOTIFICATION TOOL = ONE APP

This FREE SmartPhone App is recommend for coaches/parents to help a youth player with a possible head injury, and officially notify parents of the head injury based on the most current CDC information. With time and geo stamps on final report, the coach can officially emailed from the app to the parent, the manager and the team. The report records information which will be useful for the doctors and parents at a later time to judge RTP and guide a recovery plan

  • Why would this help kids? After a possible head injury, this app guides coaches and parents on how to assess the injury and how best to respond by providing current medical guidance on when to call 911 or if the child should be removed from play. The app also records information which will be useful for the doctors and parents at a later time to judge RTP and guide a recovery plan.
  • Example of use: A youth sport athlete suffers a hit on the soccer field. The athlete is taken to the sideline, accessed with the app and the parent is emailed the information about the athlete with ACE care materials
  • What is it? An app
  • Who uses it? Coaches or parents
  • When? At the first sign of any suspected head injury 
  • To do what? After a possible head injury, coach or parent are led through set of questions about the child’s current signs, symptoms and behavoirs. The user is given a set of conditions when to stop using the app and call 911, and if none of those conditions are met then to proceed to ask the athlete how he or she feels. The app records information which will be useful for the doctors creating a recovery plan. A summary of the answers to the question can be emailed to the parents with care instructions. 
  • How do I get this app? Download on it on your smart phone from the app store
  • Who supplies the info? Coach or any adult
  • Cost? Free
  • Compliance? HIPPA and FERPA Compliant
  • Liability issues? Decreases liability for coach and team. While it is always best to have an athletic trainer be the first responder to a possible concussion, this tool can direct a parent or volunteer coach to respond in a responsible way.

15. WHAT EDUCATION DO PARENTS AND ATHLETES NEED?

For coaches to be successful with concussion emergency plans, athletes and parents also need education on:

  • Current practice in proper injury prevention techniques and skills
  • The signs and symptoms of concussion = CDC Handouts – Links below
  • The procedure for notifying parents when an athlete has been removed from play for a head injury or suspected concussion = PER EACH ORG’s RULES

16. WHAT CDC RESOURCES EXIST FOR PARENTS AND KIDS? 

Information for Parents

Information for Athletes

17. WHAT ARE BEST FREE VIDEOS TO EDUCATE STUDENTS, PARENTS AND COACHES? 

Screen-Shot-2014-10-23-at-1.00.06-PM-150x150VIDEO #1: Why you need to be educated? 4 min Powerful Video (Note: Click link and scroll down half-way down the article to play the video of Peter Robinson talking about his son) Recommended for high school athletes, coaches and parents. Parents, please watch first before showing to your children. Link: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/dec/13/death-of-a-schoolboy-ben-robinson-concussion-rugby-union 

Screen-Shot-2014-10-23-at-1.00.26-PM-e1414084615169-150x143VIDEO #2: What you need to know? 4 min Funny Cartoon Recommended for all age kids plus coaches and parents. – really well done and funny. Link: http://brain101.orcasinc.com/5000/ 

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.21.11 PMVIDEO #3: How best to recover after a concussion (but watch it now) - for kids, parents and coaches by Top Doctors Dr. Mike Evans and Dr. Gerry Gioia. Link: http://www.sportscapp.com/2014/08/28/best-concussion-video-of-2014-rtl/ 

 

 

18. IS THERE REALLY A LIABILITY RISK IN YOUTH SPORTS?

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19. HOW DID U.S. YOUTH SOCCER AND FIFA RESPOND TO A LAWSUIT DEMANDING A BETTER CONCUSSION PLAN

Here are some quotes from the Motion to Dismiss papers (attached below) from the current youth soccer lawsuit filed by FIFA, US Soccer, Defendant National Association of Competitive Soccer Clubs, Inc., d/b/a US Club Soccer (“USCS”), American Youth Soccer Organization (“AYSO”), California Youth Soccer Association, Inc.

  • FIFA  and all the others named stated they “lack direct contact with the players.” SHIFTING BLAME TO THE VOLUNTEER COACHES
  • FIFA (and others) have no duty to make the game safer or to ameliorate risks inherent in the sport; their only duty is to not increase such risks. “ STATUS QUO IS LEGAL
  • FIFA (and others) clearly state it “has no legal duty to Plaintiffs to prevent risks that are inherent in the sport, like those from heading a soccer ball.”  YOU KNEW THE RISKS FOR YOUR CHILD.
  • US Soccer clearly states, “Legislature in each of those states has specifically addressed the issue of concussion management for youth sports, and none has imposed such obligations on an organization like US Soccer. Rather, like the Consensus Statement, the focus of the various state concussion laws is on educating and assigning responsibility to those individuals who have direct contact with the players to prevent a child suspected of having suffered a concussion from returning to play without first obtaining clearance from the child’s medical provider.”

Please open and read these papers:

20. IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE TO INCREASE SAFETY AND LOWER LIABILITY?

Yes, and please contact me if you have any doubts or questions.

There are also low cost smart phone apps to manage injury reporting and make parents email/children’s emergency information accessible to coaches on the field. Please contact me for more info. I have no financial ties with any of these companies.

While the new CT State Law requires all districts provide a number for concussions diagnosed in their students, the Norwalk School Concussion Project is going a step further and shedding the light on the various types of sport and non-sport concussions across our K-12 schools.

For the next semester, I want to breakout gym class concussions from the sports tally, and look for causes in the “home, but non-sports” concussions, especially in the high school girls.

All of this is possible because of the efforts of the Norwalk school nurses and ATs to track these students, and I am so grateful for their efforts.

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The first chart below explains which concussion this school year have been covered by the state concussion law (22 concussions in green) and the second chart shows the youth sports concussions (19 concussions in red) which will be covered by the Norwalk guidelines as of April 15, 2015. The 19 youth concussions so far this year were not covered under the state law and those athletes would not have any of the benefits of the state law.

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Reposted permission from http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/

The City of Norwalk, Conn. made history last month when the Norwalk Common Council voted 15 to 0 to approve Youth Sport Concussion Guidelines for its 6,000 youth athletes and 700 coaches who use municipal fields, gyms and facilities.

Connecticut’s Concussion Law only applied to Norwalk’s 1,145 high school athletes, meaning city guidelines were needed to extend the concussion protocol to the remaining youth athletes. To illustrate that point,

“Norwalk has set a new ‘standard of care’ for young athletes ages 3 to 18,” said Snedaker. “These guidelines are the most progressive for any city in Connecticut and maybe even in the United States.”Katherine Snedaker, a Norwalk resident and Executive Director of the non-profit PinkConcussions.com, told Concussion Litigation Reporter that 75 students in Norwalk public schools have reported concussions with 19 of them coming from non-school sports, which were not covered by the state law.

Snedaker, who was instrumental in getting the guidelines passed, said the guidelines will apply to all City of Norwalk-sponsored Athletic Activities and Programs and to those Athletic Activities and Programs operated or conducted by any user group or organization on or in facilities belonging to the City of Norwalk.

Athletic Activities and/or Programs can be defined as “all activities including practices, training, performances, scrimmage, games and other organized competitions involving athletic activities such as sports and dance.”

As of April 15, 2015, any sports team which wants to obtain a permit to use city fields, gym or courts must:

1.     Train Coaches and Educate Parents, and Athletes

a.     Train coaches, through FREE CDC online training

b.    Educate athletes and parents and guardians about concussion with FREE CDC concussion information fact handouts

2.     Remove From Play ANY Athlete who is showing signs, symptoms, behaviors of concussion

a.     REMOVE POSSIBLY INJURED PLAYERS showing the signs, symptoms and/or behaviors of a possible head injury

b.    Immediately notify parents of injury

c.     Request evaluation from a medical provider

d.    Hold out athlete from returning to play for at least 24 HOURS

3.     Obtain Permission to Return to Play
An athlete can only return to play or practice after at least 24 hours and with written permission from a health care professional

4.     Record Concussions and submit injury report via official online form to Rec & Park for all concussions

Snedaker said the guidelines are “win-win” for all involved.

“While no law can prevent a concussion, these guidelines will increase safety for children while lowering risk liability for coaches, leagues and the town,” she said. “It is a win-win for all.”

She hopes other cities in Connecticut will recognize their value.

“There are certain groups in our state, who are scared to have youth sports added to the state law. Norwalk’s success at passing the guidelines with all leagues supporting, and not one angry phone call, shows it can be done.”

**Update: I have now written John Sutter, President of US Youth Soccer, and asked him to remove this document and replace with current, best practices**

NOTE: My thoughts in red text below. Disclosure: I am parent and a social worker, not an athletic trainer or a doctor. From the parent’s eye, here are the obvious holes I see in this NEW Policy which was uploaded Feb 2015. Am I being too harsh? Let me know…

I do not have permission to post this. But since this important protocol is only supplied as a downloadable PDF (which you cannot link to), I needed to download it and repost it here.

The lawsuit against US Youth Soccer has merit I believe based this document alone…

US Youth Soccer Concussion_Procedure_and_Protocol_rev_2_15

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Concussion Procedure and Protocol

For US Youth Soccer Events

Concussion: 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 (LOC). 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.

CONCUSSION SIGNS, SYMPTOMS, AND MANAGEMENT AT TRAINING AND COMPETITIONS

Step 1:

Did a concussion occur?

Doesn’t ask if there was a blow to the body and head, jerking of the head?!?  With this protocol as spelled out, most kids on the team would have a concussion based on these descriptions alone.

Evaluate the player and note if any of the following signs and/or symptoms are present:

(1)   Dazed look or confusion about what happened.

(2)  Memory difficulties.

(3)   Neck pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, double vision, blurriness, ringing noise or sensitive to sounds.

(4)   Short attention span.  Can’t keep focused.

(5)   Slow reaction time, slurred speech, bodily movements are lagging, fatigue, and slowly

answers questions or has difficulty answering questions.

(6)   Abnormal physical and/or mental behavior.

(7)   Coordination skills are behind, ex: balancing, dizziness, clumsiness, reaction time.

THE SECTION ABOVE IS MISSING: 

  • Repeats things 
  • Cannot call events before 
  • Cannot call events after
  • Feeling tired
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Feeling fogy/groggy
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Irritable
  • More emotional
  • Doesn’t feel right

AND NO MENTION OF WHAT TO DO IF THESE SIGNS ARE PRESENT? HOLD THEM OUT? PUTTING THEM BACK IN THE SECOND HALF AFTER A REST? THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE “MANAGEMENT PLAN” AS STATED ABOVE.

Step 2:

Is emergency treatment needed?

This would include the following scenarios: WOULD THIS BE JUST ONE OF THESE OR MORE, AND IF IT IS AN EMERGENCY WHAT IS COACH SUPPOSED TO DO?

(1)   Spine or neck injury or pain.

(2)   Behavior patterns change, unable to recognize people/places, less responsive than usual.

(3)   Loss of consciousness.

(4)  Headaches that worsen

(5)   Seizures

(6)  Very drowsy, can’t be awakened

(7)  Repeated vomiting

(8)  Increasing confusion or irritability

(9)  Weakness, numbness in arms and legs

      THIS SECTION IS MISSING: 

  • One pupil largers than another
  • Slurred speech
  • Will not stop crying/cannot be consoled
  • Increasing restlessness

AND NO MENTION OF WHAT TO DO IF THESE SIGNS ARE PRESENT? HOLD THEM OUT? PUTTING THEM IN YOUR CAR AFTER THE GAME AND GO TO A HOSPITAL? THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE “MANAGEMENT PLAN” AS STATED ABOVE.

Step 3:

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

Focus on these areas every 5-10 min for the next 1 – 2 hours, without returning to any activities: DOESN’T SAY “STAY OUT 24 HOURS” – JUST TWO HOURS?

THIS NEXT PART IS JUST STUPID – YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO CHECK THE KID 24 TIMES IN 2 HOURS AND HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO CHECK THESE AS A PARENT OR A COACH?!?

(1)   Balance, movement.

(2)   Speech.

(3)   Memory, instructions, and responses.

(4)   Attention on topics, details, confusion, ability to concentrate.

(5)  State of consciousness

(6)  Mood, behavior, and personality

(7)  Headache or “pressure” in head

(8)  Nausea or vomiting

(9)  Sensitivity to light and noise

OK IN TWO HOURS, NOW DO WHAT?

Step 4:

A player diagnosed with a possible concussion may return to US Youth Soccer play only after release from a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy specializing in concussion treatment and management. DOESN’T EVEN MENTION “STAY OUT 24 HOURS”

 

Step 5:

If there is a possibility of a concussion, do the following: LOTS OF DETAIL ON WHAT FORMS TO FILL OUT

(1)   The attached Concussion Notification Form is to be filled out in duplicate and signed by a team official of the player’s team.

(2)   If the player is able to do so, have the player sign and date the Form. If the player is not able to sign, note on the player’s signature line “unavailable”.

(3)   If a parent/legal guardian of the player is present, have the parent/legal guardian sign and date the Form, and give the parent/legal guardian one of the copies of the completed Form. If the parent/legal guardian is not present, then the *******KEY POINT BURIED team official is responsible for notifying the parent/legal guardian ASAP by phone or email and then submitting the Form to the parent/legal guardian by email or mail. When the parent/legal guardian is not present, the team official must make a record of how and when the parent/legal guardian was notified.  The notification will include a request for the parent/legal guardian to provide confirmation and completion of the Concussion Notification Form whether in writing or electronically.

(4)   The team official must also get the player’s pass from the referee, and attach it to the copy of the Form retained by the team.

References:

Kissick MD, James and Karen M. Johnston MD, PhD.  “Return to Play After Concussion.” Collegiate Sports Medical Foundation.  Volume 15, Number 6, November 2005. 2005 TEN YEARS AGO?!?! http://www.csmfoundation.org/Kissick_-_return_to_play_after_concussion_-_CJSM_2005.pdf.  April 22, 2011.

National Federation of State High School Associations.  “Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion in Sports”.  2008 NFHS Sports Medicine Handbook (Third Edition).  2008 77-82. THIS WAS WRITTEN IN THE DARK AGES: CONCUSSIONS WERE GRADED IN 2008

http://www.nfhs.org.  April 21, 2011. WHY 2011?!? It is a website which should updated?!?

AM I BEING TOO HARSH? HONESTLY, MY KIDS COULD WRITE A BETTER PROTOCOL FOR CONCUSSION SIGNS, SYMPTOMS, AND MANAGEMENT AT TRAINING AND COMPETITIONS. 

bigstock-Soccer-Ball-In-Goal-47239690 2For six months, I have been anxiously waiting to see how FIFA, US Soccer, US Club Soccer USCS, American Youth Soccer Organization AYSO, California Youth Soccer Association, Inc, would respond to the class action lawsuit filed against them on August 27, 2014,  This lawsuit pit three mothers and two female college students vs FIFA, soccer’s worldwide governing body—the Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association, soccer’s worldwide governing body and affiliated soccer organizations in the United State.

This lawsuit demands no financial rewards but only that FIFA and the soccer other organizations mentioned, make the following changes to their program:

  1. Implement up-to-date guidelines for detection of head injuries
  2. Implement up-to-date RTP after a concussion
  3. Regulation of heading by players under 17 years old
  4. Eliminate heading under 14 years old age groups
  5. Implement a rule change to permit substitution of players for medical evaluation purposes. (Currently, FIFA rules generally allow only three substitutions per game with no clear provision for head injuries. If an athlete bleeds, even from a scrape, removal is required, but no similar rule exists for concussions. FIFA provides no guidance on substitutions in youth games in the U.S.)
  6. Implement medical monitoring for soccer players who received head injuries in the past

Filed on January 30, 2015, Motions to Dismiss Papers by FIFA and the others make it very clear who should be held liable in future concussion lawsuits. Take a guess? No, flip through 1 or 2 of these.

I had hoped this soccer lawsuit would force the hands of these international and national leaders in soccer to produce a unified concussion plan for youth players. Instead I was sadden to read the responsibly being pushed down squarely upon the shoulders of the volunteer coach – the one with “direct contact” with the children. 

In my non-legal opinion, the Motions to Dismiss papers, in nutshell, state that none of the international or national soccer organizations are responsible to change any rules around concussion issues because:

1. They “lack direct contact with the players.” THUS SHIFTING BLAME TO THE VOLUNTEER COACHES

2. They “have no duty to make the game safer or to ameliorate risks inherent in the sport; their only duty is to not increase such risks. “ STATUS QUO IS STATUS QUO

3. FIFA clearly states it “has no legal duty to Plaintiffs to prevent risks that are inherent in the sport, like those from heading a soccer ball.”  PARENTS – YOU KNEW THE RISKS FOR YOUR CHILDREN

4. US Soccer states, “Legislature in each of those states has specifically addressed the issue of concussion management for youth sports, and none has imposed such obligations on an organization like US Soccer. Rather, like the Consensus Statement, the focus of the various state concussion laws is on educating and assigning responsibility to those individuals who have direct contact with the players to prevent a child suspected of having suffered a concussion from returning to play without first obtaining clearance from the child’s medical provider.”

These papers a chilling read for I think this “not our responsibly” approach will do more to scare the volunteer coach away from working with kids than asking them to do 20 min online CDC training course. Sadly, this fear-based response will not help to make a sport I love any safer for our kids. There is no reason to fear concussion safety education unless you fear knowing CPR or the Heimlich Maneuver, too?

Just as parents and older teens take the safe boating course before they head out for a day on the water, all adults and older teens heading out to play land sports should take the 20 minute, FREE, online CDC Coaches Training for the sake of their own liability.

Don’t wait for FIFA to lead the way… Just take the CDC course and go coach youth soccer!!

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His name is Carson Barry and he is 12 years old. Carson has been researching concussions for over two years since his brother, who suffered several hockey concussions, committed suicide.

Carson lives in Butte, Montana, and plays on a youth hockey team. He is the youngest of four brothers; and in this photo from 2009, the boys sitting left to right are Tanner, Cullan, Travis, and Carson.

Born into a hockey family, Carson was on skates by the age of two and as soon as he was old enough, he began to play youth hockey like his older brothers had done. In this photo, Carson, age 2, being helped by brother, Cullan, and his mom, Christine. This day was Carson’s first time on skates.

scan0059 2

I first learned about the Barry Family from Christine Barry’s post on TheConcussionBlog.com, Sept. 17, 2011:

Our son, Cullan Barry, died from suicide May 13, 2011. He was a hockey player and had received a concussion on Feb 26, 2011; but in Dec 2009, he also had been sent to the hospital by ambulance following an illegal hit in the back that sent him down like a rag doll. They did a CAT scan of his head said it was fine and focused on his knee that had hit the boards. He was off the ice for six weeks with the knee injury but had ongoing migraines. No doctor every told us that ongoing migraines could be tied to a brain injury form the hockey hit, no doctor ever told us to watch for such things. 

His grades dropped he had difficulty with insomnia with fatigue, with concentrating on things like English and math, but we kept thinking his migraines were food-related. Now I believe the headaches, insomnia, and fatigue were all related to that big hit injuring his brain and other hits in hockey continuing to injure his head. However, doctors assured us the CAT scans were fine. 

At the Feb. 2011 (ER visit), the ER doctor did not even come into the room to check him and just told the nurse what to do and say. We were given standard do not play for couple weeks and he was released with no discussion of symptoms to look for of ongoing brain trauma. Cullan had a migraine the night he died. I think ER doctors need to be greatly more informed about concussions and parents of athletes need this information about post concussion syndrome, brain injuries caused by multiple impacts over time. 

I reached out to Christine, Carson’s mom, to hear more about her son, and we spoke on the phone about Cullan’s life, his tragic death and wondered what role concussions may have played in his decision to take his life. We promised to stay in touch.

Christine wrote me in the Fall of 2013, and asked me to participate in her youngest son’s science fair project. I offered to help Carson with the project which was a Facebook survey about suicide and contact sports.

From: Christine 

Subject: Science project results

Date: March 21, 2014 at 11:00:29 PM EDT

To: Katherine

Dear Katherine,

Thank you for your help with Carson’s survey.

Carson won a blue ribbon for 5-6th grade science projects, a gold medal for behavioral science projects, an award for best 5-6th grade science projects, and an award for top ten science projects out of 482 5-8th grade projects at the Montana regional science fair. He is only in 5th grade so was too young to go to the state science fair. 

So thank you for your responses to his survey.

I have included the graphs of his results which he, I and evidently the judges found jaw dropping:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.29.24 PM

The best of all this is he is already planning what he wants to do for next year which is he wants to get helmet sensors and measure how hard an impact can cause a concussion and how hard of an impact would cause kids to report symptoms to coaches or parents. He wants to use his hockey team, 10-12 year olds. This would give impact results on much younger kids as most research is on college or pros and would also give some insight into reporting tendencies of children in sports. 

So do you have any ideas about what helmet sensors would be the best? There are several out there including one that has a phone app to alert when a kid may have had too hard of a hit or need a concussion eval.

Thank you,

Chris

I was excited to see if I could help Carson and reached out to some sensor people I knew. But first, I asked Carson to write me a letter explaining what he wanted to accomplish so I could pitch his project to some sensor companies. These research-grade sensors are extremely expensive and I needed evidence that this 12 year old was a serious researcher and not like my own kids who just hit my sample sensors with baseball bats.

Here is a letter I received from Carson explaining his project:

Reducing Suicide Risk by Reducing Brain Injuries and Concussions

My name is Carson Barry and I have been researching concussions and a possible link to suicide for my school science projects for the last 2 years. I am 11 years old and I go to Silver Bow Montessori School in Butte Montana.

My interest in this research started after my brother committed suicide at the age of 17 following a series of concussions he had in an 18 month period. My family and I have felt his death was related to the concussions. We lobbied the Montana legislator to pass a concussion education and return to play law in our state.  We hosted a concussion education and safe play clinic at our hockey rink last fall. 

photo (7)Last year for my fourth grade science project I surveyed 3 high school hockey teams about whether players had experienced concussions, how many concussions, what symptoms they had and how long it took for them to be symptom free.  I found 27 players who had concussions or a whole hockey team.  Contrary to what my brother had been told by doctors who treated him that it would take about 2 weeks to heal from a concussion, I found it was taking the hockey players an average of 3- 6 months to be symptom-free and several players were still having symptoms after a year. I also found that 67% of the players reported that they had thoughts of self harm while recovering from their concussions.

The fact that 67% of hockey players recovering from a concussion had thoughts of self-harm seemed very alarming. I thought someone needed to research whether a brain injury was a suicide risk. So this year for my fifth grade science project I put a survey on Facebook asking people who had lost a loved one to suicide if that person had a previous brain injury and if they had played a contact sport where they could have had an unreported or misdiagnosed concussion. My results found that 70% of the suicides had a previous brain injury. When I added in suicides who had played a contact sport the number jumped to 84%. This again was alarming. I felt that if these athletes could better identify when their brain is injured,  better report their symptoms, or be better treated for the injury these deaths could be prevented.

For my science project next year, I would like to research what force or impact it takes to cause a concussion in youth athletes. I want to compare the impact force to when and what symptoms a player reports. I want to see if players tend to under report or brush off symptoms compared to when an impact sensor says they should be evaluated.  I would like to use helmet sensors on my PeeWee hockey team (ages 10-13).  Then I would like the players to fill out symptom checklists after a game and for the next week.  Most impact helmet sensor research has been done on college or pro athletes and I think it is the younger athletes’ brains who are more fragile. I think my findings can help players protect their brains and reduce their risk of suicide.

I was wondering if your organization could help me get helmet sensors for my project. My hockey team will have 10-12 players next season.

I can be reached at my Mom’s e-mail at 

Thank you very much,

Carson Barry

image001With Carson’s letter in hand, I reached out to Danny Crossman CEO of Impakt Protective to see if his company could loan Carson research-grade quality sensors. Danny agreed to help and would able to loan Carson some sensors when the UPMC researchers were finished with their project thus Carson’s project was set for the fall of 2014.

Working with sensors is not easy for adults, and Danny cautioned me this would be a difficult project for a young researcher:  

“Carson should know that studying one team of 10-12 years olds (15-20 kids) wont yield a lot of data (usually 2-3 hits over 40g per contact game) and certainly won’t yield a lot of concussions (probably 3-5 per season at most).”

But Carson was determined, so the now the wait for the sensor began.

In October, we got the good news from Danny…

From: Danny

To: Christine

CC: Katherine

Subject: RE: Good news

Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:04:29 -0400

20 Shockbox sensors will ship out to you this week for Carson to use. They are used (during a University of Pittsburgh hockey study) and  will come with chargers and user cards. They are the HD-R (research) version and are equipped with a gyro to measure rotation (this is an estimate since it is hard to do accurately) and a 3-axis accelerometer to measure linear peak g (this is the standard measurement for head impacts). 

I was so excited for Carson to have the chance to fulfill his dream project and I wanted to stay in the loop so I asked Christine and Carson to send me photos and progress reports on the project.

From: Christine 

To: Katherine 

Subject: RE: sensors

Date: November 4, 2014 at 8:23:48 PM EST

I am sure he would love to send you updates, it would be good for him to log as he goes for his project IMG_0476anyway. He was cute as we were driving home from school, he saw a UPS truck and said “Oh I bet they have my sensors, hurry Mom we have to get home!” And indeed they arrived about 30 minutes later. [The photo is Carson with the newly arrived sensors.)

After a great deal of work learning how to use [including charging, syncing, recording data, and understanding the results] the sensors and convincing adults and kids to participate in the project, Carson used the sensors for 7 games total for his project. Not once did a ref ask about themIMG_0474 so refs didn’t even really noticing them. I did not tell the refs prior to games they were wearing them and I was a bit leary of refs questioning them but they did not seem to even notice. I did ask the MAHA board if they could wear them in league games, they asked if they enhance performance? I had to explain them to the board and then they said no problem.

IMG_0475Here are some of the boys right before they head to ice, right after putting sensors.

[For more about the Carson’s results, stay tuned to my next post]

Carson worked very hard on his project and his efforts paid off. Last week, Carson won a blue ribbon and a gold medal at his school science fair then top fifth/sixth grade science project and $50 at regional fair. There were 450 projects at the fair of which half of those fifth/sixth grade projects so he did very well said his proud mom.

Carson goes to a Montessori school and presented his project to the whole school on last Thursday. The whole school was impressed with his work.

IMG_0545IMG_0553Note the red hat that Carson is wearing in the picture. This hat belonged to his brother, Cullan. Carson’s mom can rarely get Carson to take the hat off and is getting very tattered now. Carson’s grandfather bought the hat for Cullan when he went to a USA hockey conference. Carson has adopted it and worn it quite religiously since Cullan died.

Carson promised his mom he would take it off when speaking to the judges, but as you can see  in the photos he wore it both before the judges came and has it right back on after they left.

I look forward to hearing the next report from the Montana State Science fair to see how many more people are touched by this amazing young researcher. 

Carson will be presenting his project at state fair on March 16 and  17; and March 17 happens to be Cullan’s birthday.

[If you want to congratulate Carson, please leave a comment below and I will forward to his mom]

My city of Norwalk, CT, made history this week when Norwalk Common Council unanimously approved Youth Sport Concussion Guidelines extending concussion education and training for the 6,000 Norwalk youth athletes and 700 coaches who use town fields, gyms and facilitiesI believe this is the most progressive in the United States a new “standard of care” for young athletes age 3 to 18. I am truly grateful and thrilled to have accomplished this with such a broad ban of supporters.

While no law can prevent a concussion, these guidelines will increase safety for children while lowering risk liability for coaches, leagues and the city. These benefits were obvious to the City of Norwalk who unanimously approved Youth Sport Concussion Guidelines for the 6,000 youth athletes who use town fields, gyms and facilities. The current state law only protected Norwalk ’s 1,145 high school athletes. There was no opposition to the vote as all major Norwalk youth sports organizations supported the new guidelines.

These guidelines were necessary as the Connecticut State Concussion Law of 2010 (updated in 2014) only protected the 1,145 public high school athletes who played for their school teams, not the 6,000 youth athletes and their coaches. Under the new guidelines, any team using municipal facilities must adhere to this new standard of care.

Norwalk youth sports organizations and city government agreed expanding these safety guidelines to all age children was a “no-brainer” and clearly a win-win situation for everyone – increasing safety for an additional 6,000 children while lowering risk liability for coaches, leagues and the city. 

Before the vote was taken, public pledges of support for the new guidelines were given by: 

  • Norwalk Junior Soccer Association
  • Norwalk Youth Football and Cheer
  • Norwalk Cal Ripkin Baseball
  • Norwalk Little League
  • Norwalk Lacrosse Association

As of April 15, 2015, any sports team which wants to obtain a permit to use city fields, gym or courts must:

1. Train Coaches and Educate Parents, and Athletes:

a. Train coaches, through FREE CDC online training

b. Educate athletes and parents and guardians about concussion with FREE CDC concussion information fact handouts

 

2. Remove From Play ANY Athlete who is showing signs, symptoms, behaviors of concussion

a. REMOVE POSSIBLY INJURED PLAYERS showing the signs, symptoms and/or behaviors of a possible head injury

b. Immediately notify parents of injury

c. Request evaluation from a medical provider 

d. Hold out athlete from returning to play for at least 24 HOURS

 

3. Obtain Permission to Return to Play: An athlete can only return to play or practice after at least 24 hours and with written permission from a health care professional

 

4. Record Concussions and submit injury report via official online form to Rec & Park for any concussions over the season

The Norwalk Daily Voice

Norwalk Makes History With New Concussion Guidelines For Youth Sports

by Casey Donahue 02/27/15 

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk has become the first city in the state to approve a concussion program for its youth sports designed to protect injured kids and prevent them from further …  Read more

BEFORE A CONCUSSION 

In 8 minutes, here is the motivation, education and a FREE tool YOU CAN USE to help any child or adult. It is always best to have an athletic trainer be the first responder to a possible concussion, but without an AT, here is how a parent or volunteer coach can prepare:

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.00.06 PM

Why you need to be educated?

4 min Powerful Video scroll down half-way down article to see video about Ben

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.00.26 PMWhat you need to know?

4 min Funny Cartoon for kids and adults

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.09.29 PMHow can you be prepared?

Free SmartPhone APP for all coaches and parents to download now

 

 

 

AFTER A CONCUSSION

This 10 minute video is the best guide for how to recover created by Dr. Mike Evans and Dr. Gerry Gioia, published August 2014.

 

I have expressed my displeasure before on this blog of the slow nature of NFHS to respond to the concussion issue. I will let the documents speak for themselves and check out my good friend, Dustin’s blog.

For the guidelines themselves, click link below:

NFHS announces guidelines on football full contact

For Dustin’s thoughts see http://theconcussionblog.com/2014/11/13/nfhs-develops-concussion-guidelines-for-football/

And here is the official Press Release…

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE
HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS

NEWS RELEASE

NFHS Concussion Task Force Recommendations to be Discussed by State Associations for Implementation in 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE​Contact: Bob Colgate

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 13, 2014) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has finalized its position paper from the NFHS Concussion Summit Task Force, which met in July to develop recommendations for minimizing the risk of concussions and head impact exposure in high school football.
The recommendations, which have been shared with the 51 NFHS-member state high school associations, and approved by the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and the NFHS Board of Directors, will be discussed by state associations at the NFHS Winter Meeting in early January for implementation in the 2015 football season.
The 24-member task force, which featured medical doctors, athletic trainers, high school coaches and key national leaders in high school sports, developed nine fundamentals for minimizing head impact exposure and concussion risk in football. They were designed to allow flexibility for state associations that collectively oversee the more than 15,000 high schools across the country that have football programs. As a result, each state high school association will be developing its own policies and procedures for implementation in the 2015 season.
Many of the recommendations focus on reducing the amount of full contact, including limiting the amount of full contact in practices during the season.
The Concussion Summit was the latest effort by the NFHS to minimize risk for the almost 7.8 million student participants in high school sports. In 2008, the SMAC advocated that a concussed athlete must be removed from play and not allowed to play on the same day. For the past five years, all NFHS rules publications have contained guidelines for the management of a student exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion. In 2010, the NFHS developed on online course – “Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know” – and about 1.7 million individuals have taken the course through the NFHS Coach Education Program at www.nfhslearn.com.
The “Recommendations and Guidelines for Minimizing Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Risk in Football” position paper is posted on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.

About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.7 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:​Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
​Director of Publications and Communications
​National Federation of State High School Associations
​bhoward@nfhs.org

​Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
​Assistant Director of Publications and Communications
​National Federation of State High School Associations
​cboone@nfhs.org

SEE UPDATE

soccer-ball-300x200This summary is based on information posted on the Hagens Berman S Shapiro LLP website and is my unofficial review of the lawsuit I have hash tagged as #TheFIFA5. NOTE: I am not a lawyer, and am merely outlining the suit as I read it. I welcome comments and thoughts.

On August 27, 2014, a Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against FIFA, U.S. Youth Soccer Over Concussions made headlines. This lawsuit pits three mothers and two female college students vs FIFA, soccer’s worldwide governing body—the Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)—and affiliated soccer organizations in the United States

  • US Soccer Federation
  • U.S. Youth Soccer + American Youth Soccer (over 3 US million child and adolescent soccer players)

Note: In 2013, FIFA reported $1.386 billion in revenue.  The 2014 World Cup brought FIFA $1.2 billion from U.S. broadcasters. This lawsuit states FIFA has failed to enact the policies and rules needed to protect soccer players. FIFA and the others mentioned…

  1. Failed to adopt effective policies to evaluate and manage concussions, at all levels of the game
  2. Lacked of effective policies poses a greater danger to women and children players, who may more vulnerable to traumatic and long-lasting brain injury
  3. Ignored medical community called for changes over a decade ago
  4. Ignored simple, best-practice guidelines, which have been updated three times since the initial international conference on concussions (FIFA even hosted)

FIFA has made progress…

  1. With Concussion Marketing and policy materials, which tout a commitment to player safety
  2. By implemented policies to address other health threats (cardiac arrest and performance-enhancing drugs)
  3. Hosted 2012 concussion conference that updated concussion guidelines

This lawsuit demands FIFA and others mentioned…

  1. Implement up-to-date guidelines for detection of head injuries
  2. Implement up-to-date RTP after a concussion
  3. Regulation of heading by players under 17 years old
  4. Eliminate heading under 14 years old age groups
  5. Implement a rule change to permit substitution of players for medical evaluation purposes. (Currently, FIFA rules generally allow only three substitutions per game with no clear provision for head injuries. If an athlete bleeds, even from a scrape, removal is required, but no similar rule exists for concussions. FIFA provides no guidance on substitutions in youth games in the U.S.)
  6. Implement medical monitoring for soccer players who received head injuries in the past

Crossed posted on PinkConcussions.com

The new 2014 CT Concussion Law applies to students K-12 as well as athletes.

Is your school ready with updated policies/practices for the 2014-15 year?

TINY_FINAL.3

The Concussion Conference: 2014 Connecticut Concussion Law & Research-Based Best Practices for K-12 Schools

Wednesday, Sept 24, 2014
Hosted by Quinnipiac University Medical School, North Haven Campus
Produced by Katherine Snedaker, LMSW
Sponsored by Gaylord Center for Concussion Care

Register at TheConcussionConference.com

Opening Remarks ESPN’s TJ Quinn
Keynote “Sports Concussions: What do we really know?”  Anthony Alessi, MD

Presentations from Medical, Academic, Legal and Athletic Concussion Experts for all levels of school staff

Administration Superintendents, Principals, Headmasters, Business Managers, ADs, Heads of Pupil Services
Athletic Dept. Staff ADs, ATs, Coaches
Clinical and Academic Staff School RNs, Guidance Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers, ATs, Teachers

Schedule All Participants can come partial, half or full day

Continental Breakfast    7:45 AM
Administration Sessions  8 AM -10 AM
Athletic Dept. Sessions  8 AM-12 PM
Clinical/Academic Sessions  8 AM-4:30 PM  

Questions Katherine Snedaker 203-984-0860 Katherine@SportsCAPP.com

Speaker Final