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Help our state's researchers improve concussion awareness this fall!

Throughout the last several years, our community has been working hard to increase concussion research and awareness statewide.

From playing an integral role in the passing of the Zackery Lystedt Law in 2009 — one of the first laws nationally to set statewide standards for concussion awareness and treatment — to advocating similar laws in other states, Washington Youth Soccer and the greater youth soccer community are committed to keeping our young players healthy and safe on the field.

Last year, the Soccer Concussion Study Group conducted a survey in PlayOn! to measure the effectiveness of these new standards, and the methods being used to communicate them to parents, coaches and administrators, one year after implementation of the new law. Findings showed widespread knowledge of return-to-play guidelines but some confusion about the role of clubs in tracking injuries and about who could sign-off on return. There was also considerable interest in clarification of heading guidelines across age levels.

This fall, University of Washington physicians and other leading researchers are now surveying U-12 to U-18 soccer players at fall tournaments to determine levels of awareness and knowledge about concussions with our players. This voluntary and anonymous 10-item survey takes fewer than 10 minutes to complete, and extends the research started with the Washington Youth Soccer adults who were surveyed last year.

Players can find a white research tent sporting a purple and gold University of Washington Concussion Survey banner at the following tournaments this fall:

  • Oct. 7-9: Wenatchee Apple Cup (attended last weekend)
  • Oct. 14-16: VW Adidas Master Tournament, Starfire Sports Complex (Tukwila)
  • Nov. 5th: T-CYSA Fall Jamboree, T-CYSA Pasco Soccer Complex
  • Nov. 19-20: Turkey Jamboree, Dacca Park and Fife High School in Fife
  • Nov. 25-27: Starfire FieldTurf Cup, Starfire Sports Complex (Tukwila)

If you are attending any of these tournaments this fall, look for the research tent and take a moment to fill out the survey — by doing so, you can help researchers improve their ability to educate the public as to the treatment and diagnosis of concussions, and can make a difference in the lives of young athletes statewide. The Soccer Concussion Study Group will use the results for papers, professional conferences and to consult with local sports organizations on how best to provide useful information to the youth soccer community. For any questions, please contact principal investigator Kathleen Davenport, MD, at kdaven2@u.washington.edu.

If you have questions about the Zackery Lystedt Law, please visit the concussion resources section of our website or call our office at 1-253-476-2237.