Sports Medicine Information
Diocese of Fall River Concussion Policy
The Diocese of Fall River and the Catholic Schools Office is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students. The following concussion policy utilizes the latest in medical research to prevent and treat head injuries and is in compliance with MIAA policy and with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Law Chapter 166: An Act Relative to the Safety Regulations for School Athletic Programs:
In addition to annual physical and all medical history and permissions located in Family ID, all head, face or neck injuries sustained prior to each season must be reported by parents/guardians in the Concussion Reporting section of the Family ID registration will be reviewed and documented by the Athletic Trainer. Coaches will be informed prior to the beginning of each season of all students within their program who have previously experienced concussions. Parents/Guardians and students must report any head, face or neck injury immediately to the school Athletic Trainer and/or the Athletic Director. ImPact testing must be completed prior to grade 9 and 11.
The school may use a student’s history of head injury or concussion as a factor to determine whether to allow the student to participate in an extracurricular athletic activity or whether to allow participation under specific conditions or modifications.
In the event of a head injury or suspected concussion, the school Athletic Trainer will obtain a Department of Public Health Report of a Head Injury During Sports Season Form. The school Athletic Trainer will keep record of the forms to report to the Department of Public Health at the end of each school year.
Return to Play Process:
Athletes must complete the following step-wise process prior to returning to play following a concussion:
- Removal from contest following signs and symptoms of concussion.
- No return to play in current game or practice.
- Medical evaluation following injury.
Removal from contest and Evaluation
Any student, who during a practice or competition, sustains a head injury or suspected concussion, or exhibits signs and symptoms of a concussion, or loses consciousness, even briefly, shall be removed from the practice or competition immediately and may not return to the practice or competition that day. The coach, teacher or volunteer will communicate the nature of the injury directly to the parent in person or by phone immediately after. The coach, teacher or volunteer must also notify the Athletic Director and either the Athletic Trainer or school nurse within the next business day after removing the student from participation. The Athletic Trainer or school nurse will then evaluate the student, if possible, and notify the student’s parent/guardian of the evaluation in person or by phone. If a concussion is suspected, the student will be referred for further evaluation by a medical provider.
Return to Play
Criteria for return after a concussion/brain injury/ head injury (must complete all steps below):
- Clearance from a medical professional in writing.
- School’s Athletic Trainer has the final decision regarding return to play.
- Student is to be completely asymptomatic
- Student tests as Normal in ImPACT testing.
- Completed supervised graduated return-to-play protocol. The steps must be completed without return of any symptoms. If any symptoms return or persist, the athlete returns to the previous asymptomatic step and attempts to progress again after being free of concussion-related symptoms for additional 24 our period.
- No activity – complete rest until all symptoms subside
- Low levels of physical activity (i.e. symptoms do not come back during or after the activity). This includes walking, light jogging, light stationary biking and light weightlifting (low weight-moderate reps, no bench, no squats).
- Moderate levels of physical activity with body/head movement. This includes moderate jogging, brief running, moderate intensity on the stationary cycle, moderate intensity weightlifting (reduce time and/or reduced weight from your typical routine).
- Heavy non-contact physical activity. This includes sprinting/running, high intensity stationary cycling, completing the regular lifting routine, non-contact sport specific drills (agility-with 3 planes of movement.).
- Sports specific practice. Post Sports-Related Head Injury Medical Clearance and Authorization Form is to be submitted upon completion of this step.
- Full contact (if appropriate) in a controlled drill or practice. Physician or medical provider should sign the medical clearance form before full contact is practiced.
- Return to competition.
Return to Academics/Non-Athletic Extracurricular Activities
In the event that a student suffers a concussion, the school will implement a graduated school reentry plan based on accommodations prescribed by the student’s medical provider and facilitated by the school staff, including the concussed student’s teachers, guidance counselor, school nurse and Athletic Trainer, along with student’s parent(s)/guardian. This plan should support the student’s return to academic and non-athletic extracurricular activities, and provide a framework for an unrestricted return. A written accommodation plan for the student must communicate to the school what temporary accommodations and supports are necessary for the student to participate in student life. Any student who is utilizing academic modifications or accommodations for symptoms related to a concussion are ineligible to begin a return to play in athletics. The concussed student may only begin the return to play protocol in athletics once the physician has cleared them for a full return to academics AND cleared them to begin the return-to-play protocol.
Required Concussion Courses for Students and Parents