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Resources > Health & Wellness > Concussion Management Guidelines

CDC RECOMMENDED RETURN TO PLAY PROTOCOL
CONCUSSION PROTOCOL
COACH EXPECTATIONS
PARENT/GUARDIAN EXPECTATIONS
ATHLETE EXPECTATIONS
SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS
LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
 
 

 

 

 
 

  

  



Policies for the management of concussion and head injury in youth sports:
 
An act relating to requiring the adoption of policies for the management of concussion and head injury in youth sports; amending RCW 4.24.660 and adding a new section to chapter 28A.600 RCW.
 
Each school district's board of directors shall work in concert with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) to develop the guidelines and other pertinent information and forms to inform and educate coaches, youth athletes, and their parent(s)/guardian(s) of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury including continuing to play after concussion or head injury. On a yearly basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet shall be signed and returned by the youth athlete and the athlete's parent and/or guardian prior to the youth athlete's initiating practice or competition. 
 
A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time. A youth athlete who has been removed from play may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and receives written clearance to return to play from that health care provider.
 
 


This video was made possible by Harborview Medical Center and The University of Washington.
 

 
Read Full Text of Law
 
 

 
Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, for contests of all levels - middle school, high school, varsity and sub-varsity - in which WOA (Washington Officials Association) registered officials are being used:
  • At the pre-contest conference between the coach and officials, the official will ask the coach if he/she has a licensed health care provider that is authorized to evaluate possible concussions on site.
  • If the answer is yes, the health care provider must be on site and able to be summoned to evaluate a potential concussion.
  • If the team does have an approved health care provider with them and an official removes an athlete from play for possible concussion signs or symptoms, that athlete could return to play provided they are cleared by that on site health care provider.
  • If the team does not have an approved health care provider available and the official removes an athlete from play for possible concussion signs or symptoms, that athlete will not be allowed to return to play during that contest.

 

  
WIAA Coaches:

  • Shall be educated as to the nature and risk of concussion and head injuries including continuing to play after concussion or head injury.  This education shall include signs and symptoms of concussion/brain injury.  This education is available at no charge to coaches via the sports specific WIAA online rules clinics.  Coaches shall educate their athletes on the signs and symptoms of concussion and encourage athletes to notify a coach if they or a teammate exhibits those signs or symptoms.
  • Shall immediately remove from participation/competition any athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury.
  • Shall not allow an athlete who has been removed from play because of a suspected concussion/brain injury to return to play until the athlete has received written clearance from a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of brain injuries.

 

 
Parent/Guardians shall annually review, sign and return to the school, a concussion and head injury information sheet prior to the youth athlete initiating practice or competition.
 
RESOURCE:  Center for Disease Control & Prevention: Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion

 

 
Athletes shall annually review, sign and return to the school, a concussion and head injury information sheet prior to initiating practice or competition. Athletes are encouraged to notify a coach if they or a teammate exhibit signs or symptoms of a concussion/brain injury.
 
 

 
WIAA Member Schools:

  • Shall adopt policies for the management of concussion and head injuries in youth sports.
  • Shall ensure that all coaches (paid or volunteer) are educated in the nature and risk of concussion or head injury prior to the first practice/competition.  This education shall include signs and symptoms of concussion/brain injury.  This education is available at no charge to coaches via the sports specific WIAA online rules clinics.
  • Shall annually require all athletes and the parent(s)/guardian(s) of those athletes to sign and return an information sheet relating to the nature and risk of concussion or head injury.  This information sheet shall include the signs and symptoms of concussion/brain injury.
  • Shall ensure that any athlete showing signs or symptoms of concussion/brain injury is removed from participation immediately, and not allowed to return to play until they have written clearance from a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion/brain injury.
  • Shall require all non-profit youth sports groups utilizing school facilities to provide a "statement of compliance" (below) with the policies for the management of concussion and head injury.  This statement of compliance shall be returned to the school district prior to the group’s first practice/competition.

 

 
What licensed health care providers are trained in the evaluation and treatment of concussions/brain injuries and authorized to allow the athlete to return to play?

  • Medical Doctors (MD)   
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)
  • Physicians Assistant (PA)
  • Licensed Certified Athletic Trainers (AT/L)

Research is currently being done to determine which other licensed health care providers may have sufficient training to qualify to authorize return to play.  The WIAA will update schools and this website as this information becomes available.

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association  |   435 Main Ave S   |  Renton, WA 98057  |  (425) 687-8585  |  © 2020
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