Concussion Protocol Update and New Law
On September 23, 2016, the California Governor signed AB-2007 (“New Law”) which expanded to any youth sports organization a current law on concussion protocols that had previously applied only to high school athletic programs. The New Law, which went into effect January 1, 2017, outlines several steps that athletic programs need to take with regards to head injuries and concussion protocol for the players in its athletic programs.
Any youth sports organization in the State of California that elects to offer an athletic program in one of the sports listed in the New Law shall comply with all of the following:
1, An athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or other head injury in an athletic activity shall be immediately removed from the athletic activity for the remainder of the day, and shall not be permitted to return to any athletic activity until he or she is evaluated by a licensed health care provider. The athlete shall not be permitted to return to athletic activity until he or she receives written clearance to return to athletic activity from a licensed health care provider. If the licensed health care provider determines that the athlete sustained a concussion or other head injury, the athlete shall also complete a graduated return-to-play protocol of no less than seven days in duration under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.
2. If an athlete who is 17 years of age or younger has been removed from athletic activity due to a suspected concussion, the youth sports organization shall notify a parent or guardian of that athlete of the time and date of the injury, the symptoms observed, and any treatment provided to that athlete for the injury.
This year the club will also be required to provide each coach with training and have our parents sign a document allowing for their child to play. As we just learned of these protocols, we are currently working on getting these docs and trainings asap. In the meantime, it is our expectation that everyone honors the two above requirements effectively immediately.
Coach Required Online Course Link
NORCAL Premier Information
NorCal Premier will be following US Soccer and the State of California’s lead with regards to our Head Injury Prevention and Treatment Guidelines. In cases where we can, we will be following the same rules that are in place for the US Developmental Academy, and in all other cases we will be strongly encouraging clubs to take an active lead in the safety of their players.
In the spring of 2016, NorCal implemented the following:
- a no heading policy for all U11 and younger age groups
- a “no re-entry” policy for players who are removed from a game due to a suspected head injury
- a change to the NPL substitution rules to allow for the evaluation of head injuries
In the Spring of 2017, NorCal implemented the following:
- Updated Concussion Policy for all NorCal Member Clubs
- Club policy certification program
- Club policy audit program
- Recording of all head injuries during NorCal games
- Changes to PDP head injury protocol
For more information, please visit NorCal’s website here: NorCal Head Injury Prevention Protocol