The OSA sees itself as an integral piece of the puzzle in offering Coach Education, raising awareness to Parents, Players and Match Officials and in providing the most relevant information to its membership on concussions. Having a Concussion Protocol that includes two key parts; 1. a Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) and 2. a Return to Play (RTP) procedure is expected of any organization offering athletes programs.
The FIFA SCAT is recognised worldwide as an excellent tool for the identification of concussions and the subsequent steps required in returning a player to full activity. The FIFA SCAT is assessed quadrennial by the FIFA Medical Committee as they gather data and monitor trends on concussions globally. The latest version of the SCAT is known as SCAT 3. Coaches are strongly recommended to familiarize themselves with the FIFA SCAT 3 for Adults and/ or Child
Return to Play
A typical RTP process will be made up of 6 steps. There must be a minimum of 24 hours before each step is assessed although this could be considerably longer than 24 hours. Oversight should be provided by a medical professional. The 6 steps are as follows:
- No activity, complete rest. Once the athlete is asymptomatic, they proceed to level two. The athlete spends, at the minimum, one day at each stage.
- Light aerobic exercise such as walking or stationary cycling, no resistance training. Performing step two without symptoms allows the athlete to proceed to level three. If symptoms return, the athlete moves back one stage then continues.
- Sport specific training (e.g. skating in hockey, running in football), progressive addition of resistance training at steps three or four. Performing step three without symptoms allows the athlete to proceed to level four.
- Non-contact training drills. Performing step four without symptoms allows the athlete to proceed to level five.
- Full contact training after medical clearance. Performing step five without symptoms allows the athlete to proceed to level six.
- Game play.
Questions that Parents should ask:
- Does my Club have Concussion Protocol?
- If yes, how are Coaches made aware of this and what is my responsibility as a parent?
- If no, is the Club working on it and when will it be rolled out?
Club Action Items
- Establish a Concussion Protocol that adopts the FIFA SCAT 3 tool and specifies the Clubs Return To Play (RTP) policy. A great resource from the Play Safe Initiative is available HERE.
- Ensure all Coaches complete the NCCP Making Headway program.
- Make Parents and Players aware of their role in monitoring an athlete following any suspected injury and the Clubs RTP Policy. Coaches Association of Ontario and RBC webinar series available HERE.
- Distribute the SCAT 3 download with Coaches at the start of each season and make available at the Club website for Coaches, Parents and Players.
- Encourage all to download the SCAT3 app to your mobile device.