Concussions: CSA's Perspective by Nate Shotts, CEO, Colorado Soccer
With all of the recent news regarding concussions and the US Youth Soccer mandates regarding heading, Colorado Soccer Association would like to inform our members and families of our position as it relates to the new USYS mandates.
Concussions have been a hot topic for quite some time in youth soccer. Every coaching conference at the state, regional, and national level have been addressing concussions for a long time, and it’s not just soccer. Concussions are every sport’s number one focus.
The changes made by USYS for players ages 10 and under do not go into effect until the Fall 2016 season. At that time, Colorado Soccer is awaiting the final decision or version of the policy and will adapt to any new mandates put forth by US Youth Soccer. Colorado Soccer follows the USYS Concussion Procedure and Protocol for US Youth Soccer events. These protocols are in place to protect the player and ensure that when they have properly recovered from a concussion before they are able to practice or play in a game.
Our coaches are asked to be proactive in identifying concussions, and referees are also asked to be observant when watching for symptoms of a concussion in a game situation. However, the most important advice we can offer parents regarding their child’s full recovery from a concussion is take any head injury seriously.
Some parents may not agree with a coach sitting a player out, and they may argue with the coach, and sometimes even the doctor. They become concerned about play time and other issues, but as a parent myself, I urge other parents to err on the side of caution. Parents need to educate themselves on head injuries and concussions because the long-term effects of a concussion are felt long after your child has left soccer – or any sport.