BCSD Return to Play Protocol (Grades 9-12)
The following protocol has been established in accordance to the National Federation of State High School Associations and the International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Prague 2004.
When an athlete shows ANY signs or symptoms of a concussion:
- The athlete will not be allowed to return to play in the current game or practice.
- The athlete should not be left alone, and regular monitoring for deterioration is essential over the initial few hours following injury.
- The athlete should be medically evaluated following the injury.
- Return to play must follow a medically supervised stepwise process.
The cornerstone of proper concussion management is rest until symptoms diminish and then a graded program of exertion before return to sport. The program is broken down into six steps in which only one step is covered a day. The six steps involve the following:
- Low impact, non strenuous, light aerobic activity.
- Higher impact, higher exertion, moderate aerobic activity. No resistance training.
- Sport-specific non-contact activity. Low resistance weight training with a spotter.
- Sport-specific activity, non-contact drills. Higher resistance weight training with a spotter.
- Full contact training drills and intense aerobic activity.
- Return to full activities.
The student-athlete should also be monitored for recurrence of symptoms due to mental exertion such as reading, working on computer, or taking a test.
In order to return to competition:
- Meet baseline on ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing)
- If athlete does not have baseline – meet recommended percentages based on sex/age
- Receive medical clearance from their primary care physician or physician from a concussion clinic
- Complete the six-step process outlined above (under Certified Athletic Trainer supervision)
- Receive final clearance from Chief Medical Officer or designee (Certified Athletic Trainer) via note to school nurse