Student Athletic Injuries

No student should be allowed to practice or play in an athletic contest if he/she is suffering from an injury.  The diagnosis of and prescription of treatment for injuries is strictly a medical matter and under no circumstances should be considered within the province of the coach.  A coach’s responsibility is to see that injured players are given prompt and competent medical attention, and that all details of a doctor’s instructions concerning the student’s functioning as a team member are carried out.  NO student will be allowed to practice or compete if there is a question whether he/she is in adequate physical condition regardless of a medically signed release from a family physician, or other medically certified profession.

a.) Athletic Trainers are educated and trained health care professionals who collaborate with the Chief School Medical Officer (CSMO), Athletic Director, and School Nurse to optimize athletes’ activity and participation in athletics.  The practice of athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, treatment and rehabilitation, of emergent, acute, sub-acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions.

b.) If a student or student athlete is withheld from participation in physical education and/or athletics for reasons related to but not limited to injury, fatigue, and/or soreness, from interscholastic athletics and/or other activities, for a duration longer than five (5) consecutive school days, a physician’s release must be presented to the school nurse for said student to be eligible to participate in physical education and interscholastic athletics.

c.) Students returning after missing five (5) or more consecutive practices will complete five consecutive practices before entering back into a competitive gameunless otherwise cleared for readiness by the Athletic Trainer.

d.) In any instances when there is a dispute between an outside physician and school medical officer, the school medical officer (team doctor) renders the final decision.

Athletic Program Safety

The S-GI School District will take reasonable steps to see that physical risks to students participating in the interscholastic athletic programs shall be kept at a minimum by:

  1. a) Requiring a medical examination and clearance for all participants prior to the start of the sports season.
  2. b) Obtaining appropriately certified and/or licensed officials to coach all varsity, junior varsity, and modified games; and
  3. c) Ensuring that equipment is both safe and operative within approved guidelines.

Concussion Protocol

The following regulation has been developed in coordination with New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association’s recommendations for concussion management.

A concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces.  Several common features that incorporate clinical, pathologic and biomechanical injury constructs may be utilized in defining the nature of a concussive head injury:

  • Concussion may be caused by either a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an “impulsive” force transmitted to the head.
  • Concussion typically results in a rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological functions that resolves spontaneously.
  • Concussion may result in neurological changes, but the acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather that a structural injury
  • Concussion results in a graded set of clinical symptoms that may or may not involve loss of consciousness.Resolution of the clinical and cognitive symptoms typically follows a sequential course; however, it is important to note that, in a small percentage of cases, post-concussive symptoms may be prolonged.
  • No abnormality on standard structural neural neuroimaging studies is seen in concussion.

Any athlete that shows any signs or symptoms of concussion will be removed from play and assessed by a healthcare professional or team coaching staff.  The trainer or team doctor (Springville Pediatrics) will indicate the severity of the symptoms and treatment plan for the athlete.  Once an athlete is suspected as having a concussion they shall be referred to their family physician or to the local emergency room.  If the athlete has persistent and significant symptoms, they should be referred for immediate medical evaluation. If this is an away contest, notify the School District’s Athletic Trainer and/or Director within 24 hours so that the Return to Play protocol can begin once the athlete is cleared by his/her family physician.

According to the consensus statement of the 2008 Zurich Conference, the suspected diagnosis of a concussion can include one or more of the following clinical domains:

  • Symptoms: somatic (eg, headache) Cognitive (eg, feeling like in a fog) and/or
  • Emotional symptoms (eg labiality- constant crying or laughing)
  • Physical Signs (eg, loss of consciousness, amnesia)
  • Behavioral changes (eg irritability)
  • Cognitive impairment (eg slowed reaction times)
  • Sleep disturbances (eg, drowsiness)

If any one or more of these components is present, a concussion should be suspected and the appropriate management strategy instituted.

Parent contact- if parent or guardian is not present, pink emergency card should be used for emergency phone numbers. (If at any time symptoms begin to worsen, call EMS 911)

Inform the parent or guardian that their son or daughter has suffered a head injury and that one or more components of a concussion is present. They should contact their family physician or go to the local emergency room with their son or daughter.

Once the student is released back into Physical Education class and sports, he/she may then begin the “Return to Play Protocol” (See Attachment A). As recommended by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA), this progression should be completed over 5-10 days and the athlete must have completed all five phases of the protocol in order to return to normal game play.  The athlete must remain asymptomatic to progress to the next level.  In the event that symptoms return, the athlete must stop activity.  They may return to the next phase of the protocol when asymptomatic for 24 hours.  The athlete should be asymptomatic without the use of pharmacological agent/medications that may affect or modify symptoms.

The National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) Concussion Rule states, “Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headaches, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional”.  The NFHS emphasize in the concussion rule that coaches and officials are NOT expected to “diagnose” a concussion.  This is the responsibility of the appropriate health-care professional.

Criteria for Full Return to Activity from other Injuries:

Student athletes returning from sprains, strains, and contusions should be as close to their pre-injury status as possible. Students who have not participated in practice for a length more than a week need to be evaluated for readiness for full participation. It is strongly recommended by Springville Pediatrics (our school team doctor) that athletes coming back following a one week or more absence allow a one week practice time to condition back to pre-injury shape before entering into a contest.  To allow an athlete to re-enter their sport merely on a signed note from a family physician or some other allied health professional while knowing the physical condition is not at pre injury status would substantiate a nonfeasance on our part.

Upon full return to activity the athlete must demonstrate that he or she is fully reconditioned and has achieved full range of movement, strength, neuromuscular control, cardiovascular fitness and sports-specific functional skills.  Besides physical well-being, the athlete must also have regained full confidence to return to his or her sport.