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New Concussion Rules
—What You Need to Remember

Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of concussion.

In the September issue of E-PlayOn!, we detailed the Zachary Lystedt Law, a landmark piece of legislation passed by the State of Washington in July focused on the prevention of traumatic brain injuries to youth athletes.

In passing the law — an effort backed strongly by Washington Youth Soccer, the Seattle Seahawks, the Brain Injury Association of Washington and other major organizations — the Washington State Legislature aimed to educate the youth sports community about the seriousness of concussions, and reduce the instances of repeat concussions statewide. This is an important initiative for our youth's safety and it is everyone in the soccer community's responsibility to look out for signs and symptoms of concussion in players so that they can be properly treated. In our feature, we focused on three aspects of the new law that most directly affect our players, coaches and parents:

  1. It requires an informational sheet to be signed by parents and youth athletes explaining the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
  2. It 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."
  3. It 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 that is trained in the evaluation and management of concussion.

We also outlined the licensed health care providers that are trained in the evaluation and treatment of concussions/brain injuries and authorized to allow they athlete to return to play. They include:

  1. Medical Doctors (MD)
  2. Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)
  3. Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)
  4. Physicians Assistant (PA)
  5. Licensed Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC)

We have seen a great response from Washington Youth Soccer coaches, administrators, parents and players alike to educate themselves and their fellow soccer community members on the new law and the signs and symptoms of concussions. As we move through the soccer season there are still steps you can take to continue your education and be a part of the effort to ensure the safety of our players.

First, make sure you know all of the signs and symptoms of concussion. They include:

Symptoms may include one or more of the following: Signs observed by teammates, parents and coaches may include:
  • Headaches
  • "Pressure in head"
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Blurred, double, or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish or slowed down
  • Feeling foggy or groggy
  • Drowsiness
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Amnesia
  • "Don't feel right"
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Sadness
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Irritability
  • More emotional
  • Confusion
  • Concentration or memory problems (forgetting game plays)
  • Repeating the same question/comment
  • Appears dazed
  • Vacant facial expression
  • Confused about assignment
  • Forgets plays
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily or displays incoordination
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Slurred speech
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Can't recall events prior to hit
  • Can't recall events after hit
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Any change in typical behavior or personality
  • Loses consciousness

Second, please remember that it is everyone's responsibility to speak up if they think a player is showing symptoms of a concussion. The best way we can treat concussions and prevent future ones is to work together as a soccer family, sharing the educational information and looking out for each other. If you would like additional information on the new law or concussions, please visit the Concussion Resources section of our website at:

Remember — When In Doubt, Sit Them Out. It's the LAW.

Washington Youth Soccer

Washington Youth Soccer • 500 S. 336th St. Suite 100 • Federal Way, WA 98003
1-877-424-4318 (Toll Free) • (253) 4-SOCCER (476-2237)

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