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Concussion Information & Protection

Effective immediately: Michigan State Youth Soccer Association has eliminated heading for players U11 and younger. This directive is to protect players 10 years old and younger regardless of what age group they are playing in. A purposeful header by these players shall result in an indirect free kick awarded to the opponent at the spot of the infraction. This mandate is for all MSYSA affiliated activities, including but not limited to, MSYSA affiliated member organization league play, practices and tournaments. MSYSA’s current Concussion Protocol remains in effect.

MSYSA Memo Regarding the Elimination of Heading 

All MSYSA member leagues should be aware of the symptoms and signs of a concussion as well as preventive measures and return to play procedures. All MSYSA member leagues/clubs must be in compliance with Michigan Public Acts 342 and 343 of 2012 regarding sport concussions.  These acts require all youth athletic participants to sign a form acknowledging they have received concussion education materials.  Youth coaches must also complete an online concussion training program (see Required Materials For MSYSA Leagues below). 

MSYSA Concussion Policy- Effective February 2016

What is a concussion?                                                                                          

A concussion is a brain injury or trauma caused by a hit or blow to the head.  Concussions can range from mild to severe and can occur even if the athlete doesn't lose consciousness.  If untreated, concussions in youth athletes can change the way their brain works and can lead to long-term developmental problems including permanent brain damage. 

Symptoms and Signs of a possible concussion in youth players:

  • Blurry, fuzzy, or double visionConcusisonPic
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Headaches
  • Concentration problems or memory lose
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Balance and dexterity problems or dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting or weak stomach
  • General confusion

Recommended Return to Play Procedures/Tips:

If a player is suspected of having a concussion, they NEED to seek medical attention immediately. 

  • Youth participants should be kept out of all athletic activities (including practice) when a concussion is suspected/diagnosed.  While the brain is healing from a trauma, athletes are significantly more likely to receive a second concussion if they begin athletic activity too soon. 
  • Keep possibly concussed athletes away from any cognitive activities that require concentration or intense focus.  Activities such as video games, computer work, cell phone games, lengthy TV watching, should be all avoided. 
  • Do not give any medication to an athlete who is suspected of having a concussion unless it was previously prescribed or authorized by a physician after the trauma. 
  • The State of Michigan, US Youth Soccer, and MSYSA mandate that no youth athlete be permitted to return to competition (games or practice) until they are cleared by a physician. 

Required Materials For MSYSA Member Leagues

More Information and Helpful Links:

US Soccer Recognize to Recover

US Youth Soccer Concussion Management Presentation 

US Youth Soccer Concussion Procedure and Protocol

US Youth Soccer Concussion Notification Form

Concussion Fact Sheet for Coaches- CDC

Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents- CDC

Concussion Fact Sheet for Players- CDC

A quiz for coaches, players and parents regarding concussions

Coaches Clipboard Facts for Concussions

Information courtesy of the Michigan Department of Community Health, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and US Youth Soccer

Concussion Lawsuit Resolution Read US Soccer Press Release Read Joint Statement & US Soccer Player Safety Campaign FAQs  Recognize to Recover US Soccer Concussion Initiative US Soccer Recognize to Recover FAQs