Pop Warner Concussion Policy
IMPORTANT POINT-MEDICAL & CONCUSSIONS
The home team or hosting organization has the responsibility to provide medical coverage at each game or competition. In the absence of a physician and or ambulance on the site, the minimum safety requirement will be the presence of one individual associated with the home team/host organization who is currently EMT qualified or is currently certified in Red Cross Community First Aid and Safety, the P.R.E.P.A.R.E. Course by the National Center for Sport Safety, or their equivalent.
Work together with your local EMTs to establish an emergency plan that fits your specific area and needs. Your emergency plan should include, but not be limited to, the following:
- introduce or identify trainer/health care provider to visiting coach;
- home team/host organization review emergency plan with visiting team;
- designated duties for coaching staff and or athletes;
- “how to call EMS” next to phone;
- specific directions to your facility for emergency medical service (EMS);
- emergency numbers;
- injury report forms;
- treatment authorization card;
- list of administrators that the coach is required to contact.
Practice your emergency plan early in the season, and repeat often throughout the season. A similar plan should be in place for teams traveling to away games.
All teams are recommended to have a staff member carry the entire team’s medical release forms and emergency numbers for all players and spirit participants in case in an emergency their parent(s) or guardian must be reached. Having the family physician’s number opposite the participant’s name is also recommended.
CONCUSSION RETURN TO PLAY GUIDELINES:
A participant who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or a head injury in a practice, game or competition shall be removed from practice, play or competition at that time based on evaluation and determination by the Head Coach. However, if an official licensed athletic trainer or other official qualified medical professional is on site and available to render such evaluation, that person shall always have final authority as to removal or return to play of the participant.
When an official licensed athletic trainer or other official qualified medical professional is not present, and a parent or guardian of the injured player is serving as head coach, the final authority on removal of a participant shall rest with the league president, association president or the top ranking assistant head coach; whomever is present and highest in the Pop Warner chain of command.
Any Pop Warner participant who has been removed from practice, play or competition due to a head injury or suspected concussion may not return to Pop Warner activities until the participant has been evaluated by a currently licensed medical professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and receives written clearance to return to play from that licensed practitioner.
In the absence of an official licensed athletic trainer or other official qualified medical professional, at regional Pop Warner events, the Regional Director shall be the final authority on removal of a participant for a suspected head injury or concussion. At national events, the National Football Commissioner or National Cheer Commissioner, depending on the sport in which the participant was engaged, or in their absence the Executive Director, shall be the final authority on removal of a participant for a suspected head injury or concussion.
Pop Warner recommends that all decisions be made in the best interest of the children and that when any doubt exists as to the health of the participants, they sit out. Please check www.popwarner.com or www.cdc.gov/concussion for Center for Disease Control (CDC) signs and symptoms chart for concussions.