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Head Injury Awareness

Player safety, especially head injury awareness, continues to remain a point of emphasis in intercollegiate soccer. As part of the officiating crew, please make sure you are aware of signs and symptoms of concussions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has excellent educational and awareness resources for this important part of our officiating responsibility. As part of your match preparation, please review this resource before your next assignment.

Remember to stop the match and beckon medical staff onto the field immediately upon observing a potential head injury.

NCAA Soccer Rule 5.6.7; Injury and Signs of Concussion

During the chapter meeting last night, we discussed the circumstances and procedures regarding a player who sustained an apparent head injury which required the match to be stopped so the player could receive medical attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Concussions in NCAA Soccer

Proper concussion identification, management and treatment is a point of emphasis by the NCAA in all sports. The 2010-2011 NCAA Soccer Rules Book specifies players indicating any sign of concussion (Rule must be substituted for and not permitted to returned until after medical personnel has given clearance. Game officials must be aware of the signs of a concussion and ensure the player does not return until after having received clearance from medical personnel.

There are two major parts of this rule application:

  • Know the signs of a concussion.
  • Know who is the appropriate medical personnel that can provide clearance.

We strongly recommend officials view the online course, Concussions in Sports – What You Need to Know prepared by the National Federation of High Schools. The course is provided free of charge (you are required to register on their training web site) and will provide you with an understanding of how to recognize the signs of a concussion and the impact of a concussion on the health of a student athlete. Since 90% of all concussions do not result in loss of consciousness, recognizing signs of most concussions is subjective.

During the rules interpretation process, the definition of “medical personnel” has been a significant topic of discussion. While the definition might evolve over time, a “certified athletic trainer” is currently considered to be “medical personnel”. Please be aware that not all athletic trainers are certified by the Board of Certification. We strongly recommend the team of officials ask both teams to identify their certified athletic trainer or physician present at the game site before the match begins.

We will discuss concussions at each chapter meeting this year so we are all consistent in applying this very important rule.