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Impact of Concussions - FOR OFFICIALS
NEW!! Download the "Concussion Awareness Management Chart" to know specifics about concussions:
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As an official, you have a role in reducing the incidents of concussions in sports. Do you know what exactly is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury. A concussion occurs when a person experiences a significant hit to the head, face, jaw or body causing the brain to shift and impact the inside of the skull forcing a temporary loss of normal brain functioning. It may also result from a whiplash effect to the head and neck in a front-to-back or side-to-side motion. Imagine not wearing your seatbelt and being suddenly thrown against the inside of your vehicle and getting injured; the brain slamming into the skull gets an injury during a concussion.

Common Symptoms and Signs
A concussion may involve loss of consciousness. However, a concussion most often occurs without a loss of consciousness. Symptoms and signs may have a delayed onset (may be worse later that day or even the next morning), so players should continue to be observed even after the initial symptoms and signs have returned to normal.



  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling dazed
  • Seeing stars
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Ringing in ears
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Poor balance or coordination
  • Slow or slurred speech
  • Poor concentration
  • Delayed responses to questions
  • Vacant stare
  • Decreased playing ability
  • Unusual emotions, personality change, and inappropriate behaviour


Caution: A physician must see all players who experience a concussion as soon as possible. Coaches, trainers, players and parents should not attempt to treat a concussion without a physician’s involvement. Do NOT administer medication as this can worsen the condition.

A concussed player must not return to play in that game or practice! Allow the athlete to return to play only with written permission from a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion (oddly, not all doctors know what to look for when dealing with a concussed player).

PHASE ONE: Initial Response

Concussion with loss of consciousness:
  • Initiate Emergency Action Plan and Call an Ambulance.
  • Assume possible neck injury. Do NOT move the player!
  • Check the ABC’s: Always assess Airway, Breathing and Circulation
Concussion without the loss of consciousness:
  • Remove the player from the current game or practice.
  • Do not leave the player alone; monitor signs and symptoms (follow checklist procedures)
  • Do not administer medication
  • Inform coaching staff, parent/guardian about the injury
  • A medical doctor with experience in evaluating for concussion must evaluate the player as soon as possible.

PHASE TWO: Return-To-Play Process

The return-to-play process is a gradual, multi-step protocol system designed to assist an injured athlete to be able to play their sport once their brain injury has healed. A doctor must give the player written clearance to return to activity. If any symptoms/signs return during this process, the player must be re-evaluated by a physician. Never return to play if any symptoms or signs persist. Remember, symptoms may return later that day or the next, not necessarily when exercising!

As officials it is your responsibility to be aware of player conduct, sportsmanship, and adherence to the rules of the game. Please be alert for the following:

Prevention Tips

  • Players are wearing their helmets properly fastened.
  • Players have a mouth guard in place
  • Players show discipline and respect one another
  • Avoid deliberate blows to the head, face, and neck areas.
  • Never leading with the helmet. NO SPEARING!
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of concussion
  • Inform and educate players about the risks of concussion

Because of the potential serious nature of head injuries, any violation of these rules will result in league discipline.

Listen to a sports industry legend offer his comments on concussions in sports. While many people will recognize Bob McKenzie from the world of hockey, his comments as a parent about the subject of concussions affect players in all contact sports.

ArtCreative Design and Custom coding

Properly Fitting a Riddell Helmet
(Disclaimer: It is the responsibility of coaches, players, trainers, and parents to ensure helmets are properly fitted and worn to minimize player injury. Information contained in these external websites are the responsibility of their creators, and RMF will not be held liable for any information contained within these links.)

The information provided at these websites is for your benefit to ensure your child’s helmet properly fits! Do NOT attempt to disassemble, modify, or repair helmets – report any damage to the Coach and/or RMF Equipment personnel. Be sure to let the Coach make the necessary adjustments to your player’s helmet as improper adjustments can damage the helmet and put the player at risk!!

Riddell’s Website:

Revised May, 2010
Last Updated on Saturday, 15 February 2014 17:53

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