Concussion protocol put in place by youth soccer

Nelson Youth Soccer executive director Sveta Tisma says it's a step forward for the organization.

A return-to-play concussion protocol is now in place for Nelson Youth Soccer players.

A return-to-play concussion protocol is now in place for Nelson Youth Soccer players.

Nelson Youth Soccer has a plan in place to help concussed players.

The association revealed its return-to-play protocol prior to the start of the fall season. The plan, which can be seen in full here, adds mandatory reading on concussions for coaches as well as parents prior to registration.

NYS executive director Sveta Tisma said they had previously been developing a plan that ended up coinciding with a BC Soccer deadline that required all associations to have a return-to-play protocol in place for September.

“It kind of just worked itself out perfectly timing wise,” said Tisma. “Ours was slow in the beginning and we just had to find out what other associations do.”

Local soccer players who exhibit symptoms of concussions are now expected to be removed from play and can’t return until they’ve been provided clearance from an independent medical practitioner.

Previously, coaches only had first aid and a copy of the third edition of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool on hand to assess potentially concussed players.

Pre-season baseline testing, which is offered by the Nelson Minor Hockey Association, is not included in the NYS plan, although it is still being considered according to safety director Rob Borhi.

Tisma added he’d heard feedback from players and parents about the need for a return-to-play protocol for the last few years.

“There are definitely concussions amongst the youth,” he said. “It happens I believe every year, a few. It’s important.”