The Virginia High School League (VHSL) established guidelines effective July 20, 2011 that all coaches, athletes and parents of athletes be aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Signed documentation must be on file by the first practice date or the student athlete will not be allowed to participate until signed documentation has been received.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head.
Appears dazed or stunned
Confused Forgets plays
Unsure of game, score or opponent
Answers questions slowly Loses consciousness
Shows behavior or personality changes
Can't recall events prior to
Can’t recall events after hit
Symptoms reported by the Athlete
Nausea and/or vomiting Balance problems or dizziness
Double or fuzzy vision
Sensitivity to light or noise
Feeling groggy or foggy Concentration or memory problems
Removal from extracurricular physical activities:
- A student athlete suspected by a coach, trainer of team physician of sustaining a concussion or brain injury in a practice, game, or competition shall be removed from the activity immediately, evaluated and referred for further treatment if necessary.
- A student athlete who has been removed from play, evaluated and suspected to have sustained a concussion shall not return to play the same day.
- The determination of whether a student athlete removed from play is suspected of having sustained a concussion shall be the sole determination of the licensed health care provider, coach or properly trained individual conducting the assessment. Such determination is final and may not be overruled.
- The coach of a student athlete may elect not to return the student athlete to play, even after an assessment determines the student athlete is no longer suspected of sustaining a concussion.
Return to Play:
- No student athlete shall be allowed to return to extracurricular physical activities (practices, games, competitions) until the student athlete presents" a written medical release from his/her health care provider. The release shall certify that:
- The provider is aware of the current medical guidance on concussions evolution and management;
- The student athlete no longer exhibits signs and symptoms or behaviors: and
- The student athlete has successfully completed a progressive return to sports program which shall last a minimum of five (5) calendar days.
- The coach may elect to not allow the student athlete to return to physical activities (even after receiving a medical release) if the coach observes signs or symptoms of a concussion. If the coach makes this decision, the coach must relay his observations and concerns to the parent/guardian of the student athlete within 24 hours.