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Fast Facts

  • Concussions can occur in any sport.
  • A concussion is a brain injury and all are serious.
  • Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
  • Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. So, all coaches, parents, and athletes need to learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created free tools for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, athletes, and health care professionals that provide important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion:
How can I recognize a possible concussion?

CDC is offering a new FREE online training course. This online training program will cover a wide variety of information about concussion, including signs and symptoms, how to respond to a suspected concussion, steps to take to assist an athlete after being cleared to safely return to play. To learn more about the CDC online training please click on the icon.

Lystedt Law - State of Washington

On May 14, 2009, the Lystedt Law was signed and put in effect in the State of Washington. The Lystedt Law directly affects youth sports and head injury policies in the State of Washington. The law requires that
  • Requires an informed consent must be signed by parents and youth athletes acknowledging the risk of head injury prior to practice or competition
  • Requires that a youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury be removed from play. “When in doubt, sit them out”
  • Requires that a youth athlete who has been removed from play receive written clearance prior to returning to play from a licensed health care provider.
  • Requires private, nonprofit youth sports associations to be in compliance with the policies adopted by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association
More information can be found at www.tbiwashington.org

Additional Information/Resources

Information for Coaches:
Information for Athletes:
Information for Parents:
Other Information:
Heads Up Online Training – Flyer - Updated 09/02/2010 (PDF)
Articles of Interest:
The Invisible Injury by Kyle Garratt - Training & Conditioning

Printable Posters

For young Athletes of All Sports - Posted 10/13/2010
Information Poster - USA Volleyball Specific - Low Resolution 
Information Poster - USA Volleyball Specific - High Resolution

USAV Risk Manager Notices

ESIX Client Notification - Concussion Legislature - Posted 08/16/2010 (PDF)
ESIX Client Notification - ALS Concussions and Concussion Management Guidelines - Posted 09/13/2010 (PDF)
ESIX Client Notification - Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act 2009 - Posted 10/13/2010 (PDF)
ESIX Client Notification - State Legislation Update January 2011 - Posted 02/22/2011


Other Health and Safety Topics

USA Volleyball Statement Regarding Youth Membership Protection Safeguards

Accepted Practices for Developing a Safe Strength and Conditioning Program for Volleyball

United States Anti-Doping Agency, USADA

NFHS Free Courses

1.)  Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment

This course developed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) educates the users about their responsibilities to provide a safe and respectful environment for the students in their care. "Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment" will define and provide recommendations in three specific areas: inappropriate relationships and behaviors, hazing and bullying, including cyber-bullying. Every coach should complete this course before having contact with students or players. Coaches can complete a course immediately and will have up to one year to review and access all printable resources.

"This course is about getting the coach's attention and saying, 'You will be held responsible for inappropriate actions and for not taking appropriate steps when these situations occur,' ” said Tim Flannery, NFHS Director of Coach Education. "Many individuals who accept a coaching job are ignorant of the laws and policies by which they are required to abide. This course will assist athletic programs by providing standardized training for coaches, which will result in a permanent record that can be accessed and verified by the school."

2.)  Concussion in Sports - What You Need To Know

Sports-related concussion in high school sports can be serious or even life-threatening situations if not managed correctly. National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up to provide information and resources to help educate coaches, officials, parents and students on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports. Mick Koester M.D., ATC, Chair of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and Director of the Slocum Sports Concussion in Eugene, Oregon, takes you through this course. In this course you will understand the impact sports-related concussion can have on your players, how to recognize a suspected concussion, the proper protocols to manage a suspected concussion, and steps to help your player return to play safely after experiencing a concussion.

3.)  Sportsmanship 

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) developed this complimentary course to give you a better understanding of sportsmanship, how it impacts the educational process and your specific role in modeling it at all interscholastic athletic events. Insight is shared throughout the course from fans, players, parents, teacher-coaches and officials. Coaches can complete a course immediately and will have up to one year to review and access all printable resources.

4.)  The Role of the Parent in Sports

In "The Role of the Parent in Sports," the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has provided information and resources to help educate you on the importance of proper behavior by parents in school sports and the role you must play to ensure your child has a positive sport experience. Coaches can complete a course immediately and will have up to one year to review and access all printable resources. As a parent of a student who participates in athletics, you make a huge difference in the quality of your child's sport experience, as well as what is being taught and learned by our youth.

5.)  A Guide to Heat Acclimatization and Heat Illness Prevention 

Exertional heat stroke is the leading cause of preventable death in high school athletics. Exertional heat stroke also results in thousands of emergency room visits and hospitalizations throughout the nation each year. This free course is designed to give you the critical information you need to minimize the risk of exertional heat stroke among your athletes.

6.)  NFHS FREE COURSE: NCAA Eligibility Center Coaching Education

The NCAA Eligibility Center Coaching Education course has been jointly developed by the Eligibility Center and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). The course is designed to educate teachers, coaches, parents, and counselors about the NCAA's initial eligibility requirements. After completing the course, you will be more prepared to advise your student-athletes about the necessary steps to become certified to compete in NCAA Divisions I and II athletics. Coaches can complete a course immediately and will have up to one year to review and access all printable resources.