Walnut High School

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Concussion-Return to Play Policy


Concussion Return to Play Policy 

1) Each student-athlete suspected with a concussion will adhere to the concussion protocol mandated by the State of California Assembly Bill no. 2127 and California Interscholastic Federation law 503. (See tab “What is a Concussion” for revised laws)


2) Each student-athlete suspected with a concussion will complete the Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool 3 (SCAT 3) and the Vestibular Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) prior to seeing their physician. This will be assessed by the athletic training staff.


3) Each student-athlete will then be evaluated by a licensed health care provider, rest during the required days, and be re-evaluated by the same health care provider for clearance.


4) Upon receiving clearance, the injured athlete will then undergo the stringent seven day Return to Play (RTP) procedure under the supervision of the athletic training staff.


5) Each student-athlete must be asymptomatic or "symptom-free" in order to proceed to the next phase in the RTP procedure.


6) Each student-athlete’s school administrator will be informed about the injury, and the possible signs and symptoms to watch for in the classroom. 


Return-to-Play Rehabilitation Protocol

Athlete has to be symptom-free for at least 24 hours. This includes home and school settings. (Refer to rule #5 above)


Step 1: Light Conditioning Exercises:

            NO CONTACT.

            Begin with a sport specific warm up.

            Do a (15-20 minute) workout which can include: stationary bike, fast paced walking or jog,

               rowing or free style swimming.


Step 2: Conditioning and Sports Specific Skills Work; Individually:

            No CONTACT.

            Continue with the sport specific warm-up.

            Slowly increase intensity and duration of workout (20-30 minutes).

            Begin skill work within the workout.

            Begin footwork drills, running drills, running patterns with cones and dummies.

            Stationary throwing and catching a football.


Steps 3 and 4: Conditioning, skill work; individually and with a team-mate:

            NO CONTACT.

            Continue with general conditioning (up to 60 minutes). Increase intensity and duration.

            Begin interval training.

            Begin drills with a partner but with no contact. Continue with individual skill work as Step 2.

            Begin dynamic throwing and catching, taking handoffs, one on one.

            Begin walk troughs on offense and defense.


Steps 5 and 6: Conditioning, skills work and team drills:

            Light CONTROLLED Contact. NO LIVE SCRIMMAGES

            Resume regular conditioning and duration of practice

            Practice passing shell drills with limited contact.

            Continue with walk-throughs, skill work (patterns, dynamic catching and throwing,


            Review blocking and tackling techniques, focus on skill, light contact and low intensity on



Step 7: Full Team Practice with no restrictions:

            Joins team in a full practice to get back in the lineup.

            If a full practice is completed with no symptoms, athlete is ready to return to competition

               upon Dr’s clearance.