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Alma Police Athletic League

PAL Concussion Policy

CHAPTER 14: CONCUSSION POLICY 

The purpose of the Alma Police Athletic League Concussion Policy is to provide standardized procedures for persons involved in the prevention, training, management and return to activity decisions regarding players who incur head injuries while involved in Alma PAL related activity, in order to protect their health and safety.

SECTION 1.  ROLE OF COACHES

(1)          All Alma Police Athletic League coaches shall take Center for Disease Control Heads Up Concussion Training. The purpose of this training is to help coaches recognize the symptoms of and understand the ramifications of head injuries in sports.

(2)          Coaches/Coaching Staff will NOT be expected to “diagnose” a concussion. That is the job of an appropriate health-care professional. Coaches/Coaching Staffs will be asked to use their best judgment in observing the signs, symptoms and behaviors, associated with concussions. If a member of a youth team coaching staff observes questionable signs, symptoms, or behavior, he/she must remove the participant from the game or practice for further evaluation and notify the parent/guardian.

(3)          The responsibility of further evaluating and managing the symptomatic participant falls upon the head coach, parent/guardian or appropriate health-care professional. If an appropriate health-care professional on site determines that the athlete HAS NOT suffered a concussion, the athlete may return to play. If there is no appropriate health-care professional available to evaluate the athlete, the athlete SHOULD NOT be allowed by the coach to return to play.

(4)        The head coach shall notify the Alma PAL Director, Coordinator, or any known member of the Alma PAL Board of a player who has sustained a head injury during an Alma PAL activity or if the coach is notified of a player head injury sustained in non Alma PAL related activities.

(5)          Coaches shall not allow a player who has sustained a head injury to participate in any Alma PAL activities until a letter is received from a Health Care Provider stating that the player is cleared for activity.  (See Return to Play Policy)

(6)          Any coach that disregards the safety and well being of an Alma PAL participant as it relates to concussions will be suspended indefinitely from coaching.  Additionally, any coach that misuses this policy to prohibit an otherwise, healthy, fit, uninjured player from participating will be suspended indefinitely from coaching.

SECTION 2.  PARENTS    

(1)          All parents shall either be notified of this policy and shall receive the Center for Disease Control Heads Up Concussion Parent Fact Sheet prior to the start of practices.

(2)          If during the season a player sustains a head injury or concussion, either while participating in Alma PAL activities or participating in non Alma PAL  activities the parent shall notify the coach of the nature of their child’s injury and the restrictions placed on the child. 

SECTION 3. RETURN TO PLAY POLICY

The Alma Police Athletic League is committed to the reducing the amount of concussion in its youth sports programs. The Alma PAL has adopted the following guidelines if an athlete receives or is expected to have a concussion.

(1)           Any player that is suspected of receiving a concussion must be immediately pulled out of any practice, game or competition and                        cannot return until the player has been cleared by a medical professional. For the purposes of this Alma PAL Concussion Policy a                      medical professional who may clear a player who has sustained a head injury to return to play shall be a duly licensed physician;                      aduly licensed certified athletic trainer in consultation with a licensed physician; or a duly licensed nurse practitioner in consultation                    with a licensed physician.

(2)          After being cleared the player will be allowed to return utilizing the gradual return to play protocol:

(a)          Day 1: light aerobic exercise (walking, or stationary cycling) keeping exercise heart rate less than 70% of maximum predicted heart                               rate. No resistance training

(b)          Day 2: sport-specific exercise, any activities that incorporate sport-specific skills. No head impact activities.

(c)           Day 3: non-contact training drills

(d)          Day 4: full contact practice, participate in normal practice activities

(e)          Day 5: return to competition

(f)           If any concussion symptoms return during any of the above activities, the athlete should return to the previous level, after resting for                 24 hours
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