Currently viewing the tag: "Soccer"

Current policies on Contact or Heading for US Lacrosse, USA Hockey and US Soccer  

Why doesn’t youth football have “youth brain injury sensitive” rules such as graduated contact or no heading rules for the U12 group like soccer, lacrosse and hockey have enacted?
Why is football is the only one to not modify their sport for their youngest players?

Official US Lacrosse Policy

US Lacrosse polices are written with to try to eliminate violent collisions at all ages.

IMG_0163

Note: No take-out checks/excessive body checks at any age
IMG_0164
Rules limited body checks for U15 and U13 – rules based on peripheral vision may not be fully developed in many boys before 15

No body checking U11 and U9

 IMG_0165

USA Hockey

 Body checking in 12 and under prohibited
IMG_0169 IMG_0168

 

IMG_0166

Official US Soccer Statement on Headings

US SOCCER

image1

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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 6.51.25 PM

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.

**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

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.26.51 AM

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!!