Concussion Training/Education

Facts AND Statistics

  • 1.6 to 3.8 MILLION concussions occur each year. [7]
  • 34% of concussions occur in Practice and 65% occur in Competition. [2]
  • Effects of concussions are cumulative in athletes who return to play before complete recovery. [4,6]
  • The younger the athlete the longer the recovery time. [3]
  • Second impact syndrome is rare. But PREVENTABLE.[1]
  • Terms such as ”Bell ringers”, “Dings” or grading of concussions are no longer used.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion occurs when an athlete receives a traumatic force to the head or upper body that causes the brain to shake inside of the skull.  This may cause a change in mental status such as loss of consciousness, amnesia, disorientation, confusion or mental fogginess.

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

  • Appears dazed
  • Disoriented
  • Confused
  • Unsure of score / opp.
  • Answers are slow
  • Personality / mood change
  • Loss of memory before hit
  • Loss of memory after hit
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Balance problems
  • Double or Blurry Vision
  • Sensitive to light
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Feeling foggy
  • Change in sleep pattern
  • Cognitive changes

What to do if there is a suspected concussion?

Take the conservative approach...WHEN IN DOUBT, SIT THEM OUT. If a concussion is suspected, the student should not be allowed to continue with the current activity until properly evaulated by physicain.

When can a player play again?

All players must follow a 'Return to Play' Protocol upon the clearance of a physician. Return to Play protocol is a gradual step wise approach. 

Guidelines for the Return to Play Protocol-

  • Any athlete who exhibits signs or symptoms of a concussion should be removed from the activity right away.
  • All criteria must be meet before beginning a return to play protocol:
    • Asymptomatic at rest (mental & physical)
    • Within normal range of baseline on post-concussion Impact & Balance testing done by North Coast Concussion Program (NCCP)
    • Have a written clearance from team physician, designee, primary care physician or specialist. 
  • Return to Play Protocol: Once the criteria is met, the athlete will progress back to activity following a stepwise progression. Progression is individualized. Each step is 24 hours without symptoms. IF SYMPTOMS RETURN, athlete must return to a STEP BELOW (or previous) and rest 24 hours before resuming.



Cal Poly Humboldt Resources


Concusion Baseline Testing

Contact Beth Larson to set up appointments to get your team tested

Resources related to concussion management, practice, diagnosis can be found at the following sites: