Concussions

Updated March 2016

Nationwide data continues to show that many catastrophic head injuries are a direct result of injured athletes returning to play too soon, not having fully recovered from the first head injury.  Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 3 million sports and recreational concussion occur every year.

California law mandates that all coaches must receive training on concussions. The training may be fulfilled through the free, online course available through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

 

Complete this 20-minute online class for FREE from the NFHS and the CIF. 

Coaches should download and print their certificate at the completion of the course.

Additionally, California law mandates that all CIF member schools must comply with the following:  On a yearly basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet shall be signed and returned by the athlete and the athlete's parent or guardian before the athlete's initiating practice or competition.

Below are documents from the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) that schools/districts may use to meet this mandate which informs parents and students on concussion signs and symptoms.

This form is recommended for use by the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)

The CIF Concussion Information Sheet is recommended for schools to use to comply with CIF Bylaw 503.H. – Concussion Protocol and California State Law AB 25 (Education Code § 49475).

Recent changes to California law (A.B. 2127) also require that the schools take additional measures to reduce risks and minimize injuries for concussed athletes. 

NEW - CIF Acute Concussion Notification Form for Parents/Guardians / Spanish Version

This form is recommended for use by the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)

The CIF Acute Concussion Notification Form for Parents/Guardians is recommended for schools to use in communicating with parents/guardians when a student-athlete displays signs and symptoms of concussion.

NEW - CIF Graded Concussion Symptom Checklist Form

This form is recommended for use by the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)

The CIF Graded Concussion Symptom Checklist Form is recommended for parents/guardians and student-athletes to use when communicating signs and symptoms of a concussion to their physician.  This form should be completed as a baseline at the beginning of the season and also used after a suspected concussion as a checklist to record daily symptoms.

NEW – Physician Letter to School Form

This form is recommended for use by the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)

The Physician Letter to School Form is recommended for physicians to use when communicating with school personnel and parents/guardians.

 

RETURN TO LEARN (RTL)

These two (2) documents (below) are to assist the concussed student to “return to the classroom and learning environment” in a scientific manner regarding brain activity.

NEW - CIF Concussion Return to Learn (RTL) Protocol Form / Spanish Version

This form is recommended for use by the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)

The CIF Concussion Return to Learn (RTL) Protocol Form is recommended for use by all parties involved with returning a student-athlete to the classroom.

NEW – CIF Physician (MD/DO) Recommended School Accommodations Following Concussion Form

This form is recommended for use by the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)

The CIF Physician (MD/DO) Recommended School Accommodations Following Concussion Form is recommended for use by all parties involved with returning a student-athlete to the classroom.

 

RETURN TO PRACTICE AND PLAY (RTP)

Medical science and concussion care experts have found that a concussed athlete must take a gradual and progressive, stage by stage, step by step return to practice under medical supervision to minimize risks and allow the brain to properly recover. 

A.B. 2127 and CIF Bylaws mandated a MINIMUM timeline, but medical experts recognize that many adolescent concussion patients may take much longer to recover.  Always be cautious as returning to practice and play too quickly may have catastrophic consequences. 

NEW - CIF Concussion Return to Play (RTP) Protocol Form

This form is recommended for use by the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)

The CIF Concussion Return to Play Protocol Form is recommended for use by all parties involved with returning a student-athlete to play.

Concussions & Return to Play (Video)

Additional Resources

Play it Safer

NFHS SMAC Position Statement Soft Helmets

Coaches Resources

Licensed Health Care Providers Resources

School Resources

Student and Parent/Guardian Resources

REAP Concussion Management Program (NFHS website) / Spanish Version