Health and Safety - AIHA Concussion Policy
In the interests of keeping our players safe and to adopt a policy in line with other full contact sporting organisations, we (the AIHA) have implemented a new concussion policy.
The policy is as follows:
If a player shows any visible signs of a head injury/concussion, they are not to be allowed to continue playing for the remainder of that game. This is to be reported immediately at the time it happens by any AIHA official (Referee, Linesmen, and Scorer) who witness it.
The players name and the nature of their injury (dazed, dizziness, vomiting, unbalanced or knocked out etc) are to be recorded in the game sheet in the "Notes" section at the bottom of the game sheet. The match officials must also immediately inform the players coach and/or manager of this so that the player can be kept from taking the ice again.
Alternatively if symptoms go un-noticed by a match official but are noticed by the coach or manager of the injured player, they must report the injury to the scorer (to record on the game-sheet) to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their own player. Whilst officials and coaches are clearly not trained physicians they must make a judgment call on any obvious visible symptoms and need to do so to ensure player safety.
Before the concussed player can return to playing/practicing they must either;
A. Get clearance from a doctor, and provide a certificate from him/her before they can play or practice again or;
B. Sit a mandatory three week stand-down before playing (or practicing) again, in any AIHA League or NZIHF competition.
If a player's name appears on the game sheet with an incident of concussion, they will then be notified of this by their league director and it is the league director's responsibility to make sure the concussed player doesn't play or practice again until these conditions are met.
This policy works positively in three ways.
* It stops players/and or team management from ignoring concussions, and not seeking medical attention.
* It makes sure players spend a satisfactory time away from contact situations and putting themselves at risk of injuring themselves further.
* It minimises the chance of players embellishing situations and making more of an incident to draw a more severe penalty on a member of the opposition. If they pretend to be injured and show symptoms of a head injury then they will not be involved any further in the game and will only minimise their own participation.
See also two links/notes which are helpful in Concussion prevention and diagnosis.
http://www.thinkfirst.ca/programs/hockey.aspx (Great Health and Safety resource specific to Hockey)
http://www.thinkfirst.ca/programs/concussion.aspx (Symptoms of Concussions in a short Video)