Club Policies

Youth Soccer Concussion Management Policy



Capital FC, as a Member Club of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA), a State Member of U.S. Youth Soccer, the largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body for soccer in the United States, is required to establish and publish by January 1, 2016 a “concussion management program” which provides for the awareness and education of our coaches, athletes and families with respect to concussions, and puts in place policies and procedures for responding appropriately to potential injuries.


The goals of VYSA’s Concussion Management Policy are to 1. Reduce concussion risks for participants in VYSA member club programs; 2. Increase awareness of concussion risks, concussion effects, and their proper management for participants in VYSA member club programs; 3. Comply with Virginia State law, which requires youth sports programs utilizing public school properties to establish policies and procedures regarding the identification and handling of suspected concussions in youth athletes; 4. Reduce legal risks to VYSA and its member clubs.


As a Member Club of VYSA and sharing the goals outlined above, Capital FC has put in place its own Concussion Management Program and posted on this website the “Capital Futbol Club Concussion Management Policy 2016”.


In addition to the requirement of the VYSA, the goal of CFC’s Concussion Management Policy is also to comply with DC law.  The Director of the DC Department of Health issued a Final Rulemaking 61 DCR 9593 on September 19, 2014 pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Athletic Concussion Protection Act of 2011 (“Act”), effective October 20, 2011 (D.C. Law 19-22, D.C. Official Code § 7-2871.05 (2012 Repl.)), and Mayor’s Order 2013-110, dated June 20, 2013.


The Athletic Concussion Protection Act of 2011 provides the authority to the Mayor to determine whether the DC law extends to athletic activity in the District that is sponsored by non-profit organizations.  In the Final Rulemaking , Section 620.1 of extends the DC policy to athletic activity sponsored by nonprofit organizations:


620.1               The provisions of this section shall apply to:


(a)        Any athletic activity sponsored by a school;


(b)        Any athletic activity sponsored by the Department of Parks and      Recreation


(c)        Any athletic activity sponsored by a private for-profit or nonprofit organization regardless of where that activity occurs in the District.



In Section 6, the Final Rulemaking defines the following words and phrases:


Athlete—a person who engages in an athletic activity who is eighteen (18) years of age or younger.

Athletic activity—aprogram or event, including practice and competition, organized as part of a school-sponsored, interscholastic-athletic program, an athletic program sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation, or an athletic program sponsored by a nonprofit or for-profit organization.  This term includes participation in physical education classes that are part of a school curriculum.

Concussion—a traumatic injury to the brain that causes a change in a person’s mental status at the time of injury, such as feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused, which may involve a loss of consciousness, resulting from:

(a)        A fall;

(b)        A blow or jolt to the head or body;

(c)        Shaking or spinning of the head or body; or

(d)       Acceleration and deceleration of the head.


This Concussion Management Policy (the “CMP”) of the Capital Futbol Club (the “CFC”) implements a standard operating procedure for managing and monitoring concussion injuries of CFC players, consistent with the requirements of the law, and in keeping with CFC’s dedication to the health and well-being of its players.


The basis of this CMP was developed by a third party in collaboration with Drs. Gerard Gioia, Christopher Vaughan, and Catherine McGill, all members of the SCORE program (Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery and Education) at Children’s National Medical Center.


This CMP is effective as of the adoption date, and beginning in the calendar year 2016 season(s).


This CMP is adopted with the following factors in mind:

1)   A reduction of risk for CFC players.

Concussions are a real medical risk in youth soccer and an unfortunate possibility of the game.  Increased education will help to ensure that when concussions are suspected to have occurred in a CFC game or practice setting, they will be managed in a standard, verified, and adopted process.

2)   Increased public awareness of concussions in youth soccer and youth sports.

By educating our coaches, staff and membership more generally about concussions MYS aims to both reduce the risks to our players and to increase public awareness and sensitivity to the symptoms and proper treatment of concussion injury.

3)   Proper concussion management is the law.

DC law, adopted on October 20th of 2011 requires the education of coaches, parents, and athletes; removal from play of any athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion; and requires written authorization from a licensed health care provider before the athlete can return to play.


The goals of the CMP are to:

1)   Protect our players.

2)   Educate our coaches and staff.

3)   Educate our parents and identify resources parents can use to educate themselves and their children/players on concussion identification, treatment and prevention.

4)    Develop a policy and protocol that is consistent with the law in the District of Columbia.


The CMP has five parts:

  1. Education,
  2. Head Impact Protocol,
  3. Verification,
  4. Return to Play,
  5. and Baseline Testing.


Part 1 – Education


•                   CFC will hold a coaches’ educational seminar (in one or several sessions) each year on injury recognition and return to play protocol with a target date for the seminar at the start of the Fall season.

•                   It will be mandatory for all travel coaches, age group directors and technical staff to attend the seminar.

•                   All travel coaches and travel team managers will download the Concussion Recognition & Response (CRR) phone application for on site evaluation of head impacts, and will familiarize themselves with the Centers for Disease Controls & Prevention (CDC) educational materials, in particular the CDC Concussion Symptoms Checklist (see Appendix).



•                   A travel coach and/or the travel team manager on each CFC team will review this concussion policy at a parent meeting and provide team parents with the links referenced above.

•                   CFC will also make available information on concussion awareness to all recreational coaches.



Part 2 – Head Impact Protocol

•                   In the event an CFC player sustains a suspected concussion or concerning injury, she or he will be removed from the activity immediately. This includes, but is not exclusively limited to: games, practices, skill sessions, other on-field activity, and off-field activities.

•                   The player will not be allowed to re-join the activity until after a travel coach/travel manager uses the CRR phone evaluation or CDC Concussion Symptoms checklist to evaluate the player.  Only if the child passes the CRR evaluation and/or does not exhibit any symptoms as per the CDC checklist will the player allowed to return to the activity.

•                   If a player is not able to return to the activity as per above, that player shall not be allowed to return to an CFC activity until after he or she is reviewed and cleared by a licensed health care provider, per DC law, and documented to the CFC travel coach and/or travel team manager.

•                   If emergency medical care is needed, the coach/manager shall call 911 and have the player taken to the ER, along with the parental permission form obtained from each family before the start of the season.

•                   In any situation, a parent may elect to remove his or her child from the activity if the parent is concerned about a head injury or potential head injury.


Part 3 – Verification

•                   Any CFC travel coach – and specifically, the designated head coach of the team – supervising a game or team activity is responsible for observing head injuries and being sensitive to activities that have the potential for head injury, e.g., heading practice.

•                   As per above, if an injury or suspected injury occurs, the coach, team manager or a designated parent, will use the CRR phone evaluation and/or CDC checklist to determine the presence of symptoms and next steps as above (e.g., return to play if no symptoms; remain out of play if symptoms).

•                   Given the serious nature of concussions and the difficulty of diagnosing brain trauma, caution should be used in evaluating symptoms and the return to play.


Part 4 – Return to Play

•                   Once a player has been removed from play due to a suspected concussion, and has failed the CRR/CDC guidelines, medical clearance by a licensed healthcare provider must be demonstrated prior to the player’s participation in any on- or off- field CFC physical activities.

•                   Once clearance to play has been authorized by a licensed healthcare provider, CFC will institute a gradual return to play.

•                   Parental consent alone is not acceptable for return to play.

•                   Coach consent alone is not acceptable for return to play.

•                   If parents seek a specialized medical evaluation, CFC recommends the SCORE clinic at Children’s National Medical Center for further evaluation. Contact information: 202-476-2429.


Part 5 – Baseline Testing

•                   Baseline testing is an exam conducted by trained professionals that is used to help assess a person’s brain function (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solves problems). Results from baseline testing can be compared to a similar exam if there is a suspected concussion.

•                   CFC recommends to, but does not require of, all of its parents that each player should be baseline tested by a certified testing agency as an aid to concussion identification and treatment.

•                 CFC recommends players under the age of 12 be baseline tested every 12 months and those 13+ years of age every 2 years.

•                 CFC understands that many athletes participating in high school sports already take a baseline test and therefore need not take an additional test.

•                   CFC will notify its members of periodic baseline testing opportunities as it is made aware.

•                   CFC will not keep baseline test results on its players, nor will it be involved in the administration or the interpretation of baseline test results.




Athletes who experience any of the signs and symptoms listed below after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body should be kept out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says they are symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play.


Signs Observed by Coaching Staff:


•     Appears dazed or stunned

•     Is confused about assignment or position

•     Forgets an instruction

•     Is unsure of game, score, or opponent

•     Moves clumsily

•     Answers questions slowly

•     Loses consciousness (even briefly)

•     Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes

•     Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall

•     Can’t recall events after hit or fall



Symptoms Reported by Athlete:


•     Headache or “pressure” in head

•     Nausea or vomiting

•     Balance problems or dizziness

•     Double or blurry vision

•     Sensitivity to light

•     Sensitivity to noise

•     Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy

•     Concentration or memory problems

•     Confusion

•     Does not “feel right” or is “feeling down”



*The medical information contained in this Policy is provided as an informational resource only.  It is not to be used or relied on for any professional diagnostic or treatment purposes, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis

and treatment.  Please consult your health care provider before making any medical decisions or for guidance about a specific

medical condition.  CFC expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the medical information contained in this Policy.