AYSO Concussion Policy
The AYSO Safe Haven and Safety Director programs have been promoting since 2009 the recommendations provided by the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Heads Up program for concussion awareness and safety. Since then, 35 states plus the District of Columbia with Florida included have passed concussion legislation, most of which came onto the books within the last year. In response to increasing concerns about the potential risks associated with concussions and to these new state laws, the AYSO National Board of Directors launched a Concussion Task Force to develop recommendations for AYSO Regions and families. The NBOD has approved its recommendations:
- In Region 345 we have been impacted by the concussion laws, signed copies of the AYSO/CDC Concussion Information Sheets must be collected and stored by the Region. Forms will be given at registration and during team meetings to be signed.
- Coaches are required to complete an AYSO Incident Report whenever a concussion has been suspected and turn it into the Safety Director.
- Coaches must require a signed Participation Release Form from the parent/guardian before a player having a concussion or suspected of having a concussion is allowed to return to play. Parents should always be encouraged to seek appropriate medical care and medical clearance. In designated states, the signed Medical Release is also mandatory before return to play.
- Use of the AYSO/CDC Concussion Information Sheet to inform all parents and players about the signs and symptoms of concussion and the associated risks. Find the Information Sheet at:http://www.ayso.org/resources/safety.aspx
- ALL coaches, referees, and Region Board Members are to take the CDC’s free online Concussion Awareness Training at: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/online_training.html or available at AYSOU. Volunteers who take the course on the CDC website should print a copy of the Certificate of Completion and forward it to the Safe Haven Department at the National Office where training records will be updated.
- Any player suspected by the coach, referee or parent to have a concussion must be removed from further participation for at least the remainder of the day, and parents should be encouraged to seek professional medical treatment for the player at the time of injury and secure medical clearance before allowing the player to return to play. In all cases, AYSO will require the parent to sign a new Participation Release Form which includes a concussion waiver confirming that the player has been given the appropriate clearance to return to play.