“Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and will not be allowed to re-enter that game.”
The language above reflects a strengthening of rules regarding the safety of athletes suspected of having a concussion. This language reflects an increasing focus on safety and acknowledges that the vast majority of concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness.
This protocol is intended to provide the mechanics to follow during the course of contests when an athlete sustains an apparent concussion.
1. The officials will have no role in determining whether a concussion has occurred other than the obvious one where a player is either unconscious or apparently unconscious. Officials will merely point out to a coach that a player is apparently injured and advise that the player should be questioned by his team’s coaching staff to gain an assessment of the situation.
2. If any member of the team’s coaching staff determines any signs of a concussion have been exhibited, the player shall be withheld for the remainder of the contest. In the event that competition continues while the athlete is withheld for an apparent concussion, that athlete may not be returned to competition that day but is subject to the return to play protocol.
a. Following the game in question, the Head Coach (or acting Head Coach) of the team must meet with the parents of the player to review signs and symptoms (provided) of a concussion. If the player subsequently demonstrates any signs or symptoms of a concussion, they must be cleared by a doctor prior to return to play.
b. The Head Coach must immediately notify the League Commissioner and report the details of the event in writing to the League Commissioner and League President via email.
c. The affected player must be cleared by the League Commissioner, Player Safety Coach, Head Coach and Parents prior to being allowed to resume football activities.
SANCTIONS FOR NON-COMPLIANCE WITH CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY
Following are the consequences for not complying with Jasper Junior Football League rules when players are removed from play because of a concussion or suspected concussion:
- A concussed athlete is ineligible to return to any practice or game on the same day the concussion or suspected concussion is sustained.
- A concussed athlete is ineligible to enter a meet or contest on a subsequent day without the authorization of the League Commissioner, Player Safety Coach, Head Coach and Parents.
These athletes are considered ineligible players and any game they enter is forfeited.
The Head Coach is subject to the following penalties for individual non-compliance with this policy:
- 1st offense – team forfeits game and Head Coach is placed on probation
- 2nd offense – team forfeits game and Head Coach is suspended for remainder of season
- 3rd offense – team forfeits game and the Head Coach will no longer be able to coach Jasper Junior Football
Blatant disregard for the policy could lead to discipline up to and including a lifetime ban from Jasper Junior Football.
This progressive discipline policy is effective throughout the life of a JFL coach’s career and will also be applicable to acting Head Coaches as well.