WCJFA Concussion Protocol

Concussion protocol

  • If a player exhibits concussion symptoms, remove them from play immediately.

  • Evaluation of a concussion must be performed by a licensed athletic trainer (or other official qualified medical professional), Player Safety Coach, or a non-parent/non-guardian Head Coach. Licensed athletic trainers and medical professionals shall always have final authority over the player's removal and return to play. On game days at Mt Si, Seattle Children's is the final authority.

  • Players removed from play with a suspected concussion cannot return to play without obtaining clearance, in writing, from a certified health care professional. The team's Head Coach must submit proof of clearance to the WCJFA Coaches Rep, such as by emailing/texting a photo of the clearance form.

  • Players diagnosed with a concussion must follow the graduated return to play (RTP) protocol. The RTP protocol requires a gradual increase in activity over a minimum of 5-7 days. This policy is similar to the policy recommended by the Sports Concussion Institute, as shown in their SCI RTP Protocol illustration.

No player is permitted to return to play while exhibiting any concussion symptoms.

Return to Play Protocol for Head Coaches

  1. If you suspect a player has suffered a concussion, remove them from play immediately. When in doubt, sit them out.

  2. Contact the player's parents, advise them of the situation, and inform them that they'll need to obtain clearance from a certified medical professional before the player can return to play. Clearance must be obtained in writing and submitted to you (the Head Coach), and must clearly indicate when the player is permitted to return to action.

  3. Submit proof of clearance to the WCJFA Coaches Rep, such as by emailing/texting a photo of the clearance form. If the player is not diagnosed with a concussion and is not feeling or exhibiting any concussion symptoms, the player may return to play without restriction.

    Players diagnosed with a concussion must follow the graduated return to play (RTP) protocol. The RTP protocol requires a gradual increase in activity over a minimum of 7 days. This policy is similar to the policy recommended by the Sports Concussion Institute, as shown in their SCI RTP Protocol illustration.
  • Day 1: Upon suspicion of a concussion, the player must be removed from play and should rest fully, physically and cognitively, for 24 hours.

  • Day 2: Player may participate in light aerobic exercise, including stretching and walking, without equipment. If symptoms resurface, require the player to be re-evaulated and begin the RTP protocol at Day 1.

  • Day 3: If the player remains symptom-free, they may graduate to light football activity, including light non-contact drills, with all pads except a helmet. If symptoms resurface, require the player to be re-evaulated and begin the RTP protocol at Day 1.

  • Day 4: If the player remains symptom-free, they may graduate to increased football activity, including increased participation in non-contact drills, with all pads including a helmet. If symptoms resurface, require the player to be re-evaulated and begin the RTP protocol at Day 1.

  • Day 5: If the player remains symptom-free, they may graduate to football training activities, including light-contact drills (such as thud), in full pads/helmet. If symptoms resurface, require the player to be re-evaulated and begin the RTP protocol at Day 1.

  • Day 6: If the player remains symptom-free, they may graduate to near-full football activity, including full-contact drills. If symptoms resurface, require the player to be re-evaulated and begin the RTP protocol at Day 1.

  • Day 7: If the player remains symptom-free, they may graduate to full football activity, including normal football training and game play. If symptoms resurface, require the player to be re-evaulated and begin the RTP protocol at Day 1.

Following this guidance, it's possible for a player who suffers a concussion in a game on Saturday to play in the following week's game.