With a plethora of public discussion and media reporting in recent years about concussions, most parents of youth athletes today probably know some of the facts about this injury. But knowing the facts and having a plan of action are two different things.

Due to the importance of head injury, US Lacrosse strongly encourages all teams, clubs, and leagues to develop a documented plan to deal with this potential injury. To assist in that process, US Lacrosse provides guidelines, updated annually, for the development of that plan, and encourages parents to hold program leaders accountable for compliance.

●  Download US Lacrosse’s Concussion Management Plan (CMP) Guidelines

US Lacrosse was one of the first national sports organizations to provide such guidelines for high school and youth programs, beginning in 2014. The NCAA also requires colleges and universities to have a concussion management plan document in place. 

It’s important to note that the CMP guidelines are not intended as a standard of care and should not be interpreted as such. Each CMP should be developed locally in consultation with a physician or other healthcare provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion.

If you don’t think this is important, consider the fact that concussions are among the five most frequent injuries for both boys and girls high school lacrosse players.

The guidelines provided by US Lacrosse, based on input from national experts on concussion and head injury, identify the various components that should be included in a locally developed CMP. Some of these include education, recognition of signs & symptoms, injury evaluation, return to play protocols, and more. Preseason meetings are a great time for program leaders to deliver the plan to parents and coaches.

“League and team leaders should openly and unequivocally state their support for the concussion management plan, with strict adherence to the reporting, removal from play, and educational requirement,” said Bruce Griffin, director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse.

Further information and resources about concussion injuries in lacrosse are available online at uslacrosse.org/safety/concussion-awareness