skip navigation

Concussion Protocol and Policies

NRU Concussion Management Policy

This policy, adopted by the Board of Directors of New River United (NRU), sets forth minimum requirements for all programs (recreational, travel, and academy) in order to manage concussion injuries among player participants. Nothing in this policy shall prohibit member clubs from adopting concussion management programs with greater requirements than specified herein.


1. Reduce concussion risks for participants in NRU programs;
2. Increase awareness of concussion risks, concussion effects, and their proper management for participants in NRU 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 NRU.

I. Education

A. NRU shall provide each coach, on an annual basis, information on the nature and risk of concussions, criteria for removal and return to play, and risks of not reporting the injury and continuing to play. The club shall require each coach to sign a statement acknowledging receipt of such information and maintain such record for no less than seven years. New River United coaches will complete the online concussion training and follow-up quiz provided by the Centers for Disease Control


B. All NRU parents or guardians of each youth participant, on an annual basis, will be provided information on the nature and risk of concussions, criteria for removal and return to play, and risks of not reporting the injury and continuing to play. NRU shall require each parent or guardian to e-sign a statement during registration acknowledging receipt of such information and maintain such record for no less than seven years.

C. NRU will provide coaches and parents with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concussion fact sheets for coaches and parents found at the CDC “HEADS UP To Youth Sports” website: Nothing in this policy prohibits a member club from using some other suitable source of concussion information.

D. NRU will periodically provide additional communications on concussion education to their coaches, players and parents, including meetings, seminars, discussion forums, online resources, handouts and other forms of communication.

II. Head Impact Protocol

A. Each member club of NRU shall have a protocol in place to govern procedures for any situation in which a participant in the club’s athletic programs or activities (including games, practices, skill sessions and other athletic activities) is suspected of having incurred a potential concussion as a result of a head or neck impact or other impact that could lead to a concussion.

B. Such protocol shall, at a minimum, set forth (i) a procedure for immediate removal of the player participant from the activity to be evaluated for symptoms of a concussion; (ii) a procedure for a coach, team official, club representative, trainer or medical professional to evaluate the player participant for symptoms of a concussion; and (iii) a requirement that the player participant not be permitted to return to play or any other athletic activity on that day if the player participant exhibits any symptoms of a concussion. NRU policy regarding concussion is: “when in doubt, sit it out.”

C. The NRU Protocol is:

Step 1: - Identification

Did a concussion occur? Evaluate the player and note if any of the following signs and/or symptoms are present:

• Dazed look or confusion about what happened.
• Memory difficulties.
• Neck pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, double vision, blurriness, ringing noise or sensitive to sounds.

• Short attention span. Can’t keep focused.
• Slow reaction time, slurred speech, bodily movements are lagging, fatigue, and slowly answers questions or has difficulty answering questions.
• Abnormal physical and/or mental behavior.
• Coordination skills are behind, ex: balancing, dizziness, clumsiness, reaction time.

NOTE: When in doubt the player must sit out! No player suspected of having a concussion will be permitted to play.

Step 2: Emergency Treatment

Parents, Players and Coaches are not experts in diagnosing concussions but caution must always be taken. Look for the following symptoms to be present when a concussion is expected. If any are identified then emergency treatment is needed:

  • Spine or neck injury or pain.
  • Behavior patterns change, unable to recognize people/places, less responsive than usual.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Headaches that worsen
  • Seizures
  • Very drowsy, can't be awakened
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Increasing confusion or irritability
  • Weakness, numbness in arms and legs

Step 3: Non-Emergency Treatment

If a possible concussion occurred, but no emergency treatment is needed, what should be done now? If there is a possibility of a concussion, do the following:

(1) Remove the participant from play.
(2) Contact both the parent and manager and notify them of the possibility of a concussion.
(3) Keep the participant out of play the day of the injury and until an appropriate health care professional says the player is symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play.
(4) Contact either the Director of Coaching (Travel), the AGC (Recreational), or the Academy Director if you notice a player with signs of concussion.

As a helpful tool, those parents and coaches responsible for participants with a concussion should focus on these areas every 5-10 min for the next 1 - 2 hours, without returning to any activities:

• Balance, movement.
• Speech.
• Memory, instructions, and responses.
• Attention on topics, details, confusion, ability to concentrate.

• State of consciousness
• Mood, behavior, and personality
• Headache or “pressure” in head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Sensitivity to light and noise

III. Return to Play

A. If a player participant in NRU activities is removed from play due to exhibiting symptoms of a concussion, he or she may not return to any athletic activity of the club until a licensed healthcare provider has provided the club with written clearance for the player participant to resume such activities. This provision does not prohibit a player participant from attending games, practices and other activities without participating athletically in such activities.

B. NRU is required to maintain records of medical clearances for seven years.

C. For purposes of this provision, a“licensed healthcare provider” means a physician, physician assistant, osteopath physician, or athletic trainer licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine; a neuro psychologist licensed by the Board of Psychology; or a nurse practitioner licensed by the Virginia State Board of Nursing.

IV. Reporting Requirements

NRU shall annually provide a copy of its Concussion Management Policy to the State Office no later than October 31 of each year starting in 2016.

V. Appendix

The following material helped inform the NRU Board in formulating this policy and will be provided to all parents, guardians and coaches:

CDC – Heads Up Program -

Concussion Recognition and Response (CRR) PAR -CRR app

Care: Sport App for trainers, medical personnel

Sports Concussion Institute

Think Taylor – Organization started by Taylor Twellman to assist with education of the public concerning traumatic head injuries (concussions)