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Concussion Protocol for CBF Concerned Individuals

Think First Concussion Education and Awareness Program

  • All players who experience a concussion must be seen by a physician as soon as possible. A concussion is a brain injury.
  • A concussion most often occurs without a loss of consciousness. However, a concussion may involve loss of consciousness.
  • HOW CONCUSSIONS HAPPEN: Blow to the head, face or jaw, or even elsewhere on the body. May also result from a whiplash effect to the head and neck


  • Symptoms and signs may have a delayed onset (may be worse later that day or even the next morning), so players should continue to be observed even after the initial symptoms and signs have returned to normal.

A player may show any one or more of these symptoms or signs:

Symptoms: Signs:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling dazed
  • Seeing stars
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Ringing in ears
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Slow and slurred speech
  • Poor concentration
  • Delayed responses to questions
  • Vacant stare
  • Decreased playing ability
  • Unusual emotions, personality change, and inappropriate behaviour

For a complete list of symptoms and signs, visit

  • Caution: All players should consult a physician when a concussion is suspected. Coaches, trainers/safety people, players and parents should not attempt to treat a concussion without a physician’s involvement.


  • If there is loss of consciousness – initiate emergency action plan EAP and call an ambulance. Assume a possible neck injury. Continue to monitor airway, breathing and circulation.


  • Remove the player from current game or practice
  • Do not leave the player alone; monitor symptoms and signs
  • Do not administer medication
  • Inform the coach, parent or guardian about the injury
  • The player should be evaluated by a medical doctor, ASAP
  • The player must not return to play in that game or practice


  • The return to play process is gradual, and begins after a doctor has given the player clearance to return to activity. If any symptoms/ signs return during this process, the player must be re- evaluated by a physician. No return to play if any symptoms or signs persist. Remember, symptoms may return later that day or the next, not necessarily when exercising!

STEP 1 No activity, only complete mental and physical rest. Proceed to step 2 only when only all symptoms are gone. This includes avoiding both mental and physical stress.

STEP 2 Light aerobic exercise, such as walking or stationary cycling. Monitor symptoms and signs. No resistance training or weight lifting.

STEP 3 Sport specific activities and training (e.g. skating).

STEP 4 Drills without body contact. May add light resistance training and progress to heavier weights. The time needed to progress from non-contact to contact exercise will vary with the severity of the concussion and the player. Go to step 5 after medical clearance. (Reassessment and note)

STEP 5 Begin drills with body contact.

STEP 6 Game play. (The earliest a concussed athlete should return to play is 1 week.)

NOTE: Players should proceed through return to play steps only when they do not experience symptoms or signs and a physician has given clearance. Each step should be a minimum of one day. If symptoms or signs return, the player should return to step 1, and be re-evaluated by a physician.

Official’s On-Ice Concussion Procedures
The responsibility for any player when it comes to recognizing a concussion is with the Coach. However, Officials should be familiar with the common signs that are exhibited such as:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Confusion
  3. Slurred speech
  4. Saying things that don’t make sense
  5. Vomiting

During a game, if a player is body checked (hard) anywhere on the ice or is hit on or around the head area by the ball or a stick, the Official should assess the player for any of the above symptoms and escort them to the bench.

Officials must act quickly to inform the Coach to:

  1. have the player assessed for a concussion before allowing him/her back on the ice
  2. have the player medically cleared before he/she plays again

Copyright © 2017 by CBF All Right Reserved.
Published on: 2015-08-07 by CBF Staff
( Page views: 719 )

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