One Reader’s Opinion on Why US Youth Soccer Does it Right

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I have been an Administrator with US Youth Soccer for the past 10 years. I retired in September of 2014 but I continue to volunteer with events in Region II (Midwest). US Youth Soccer has clearly defined the protocol players are expected to follow when an on site trainer has determined the player has suffered from a concussion during play. The player is instructed to consult with a physician that has brain injuries as a specialty. US Youth Soccer provides a form that must be signed by the parent or designated adult along with a member of the club that holds the player registration. That form instructs the player and soccer club that a follow up is required prior to that players return to competition. That follow up includes a visit to a physician to ensure that the player has been properly diagnosed and is determined to be healthy enough to return to play. The problem is parents and coaches often self diagnose and allow the player to return to competition. The follow up is most critical and unfortunately the trust bestowed on the family and club staff is inconsistent. The player will not be allowed to compete in the event where the injury occurred but that event can take place in another state. US Youth does the right thing when they deny the player participation. The pressure to play is to great and parents fear the player will fall out of grace with the coaching staff so they forgo the protocol, do not seek proper medical attention and allow the player back in competition. The host organization can provide the necessary information but it is up to the parents to FOLLOW UP!

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