West Carleton Soccer Club

Removal from and Return to Play

Removal-from-Sport Protocol

The following outlines a process for immediate removal of an athlete who is suspected of having sustained a concussion.

 1. Remove the Athlete

Designated person(s) to immediately remove the athlete from further training, practice or competition if the athlete has sustained a concussion or is suspected of having sustained a concussion regardless of whether the concussion or suspected concussion was sustained from an activity associated with West Carleton Soccer Club (WCSC).

 2. Call 9-1-1 if Emergency

Designated person(s) to call 9-1-1 if in their opinion, doing so is necessary (e.g., if there is an emergency and any red flag signs and/or symptoms appear).

3. Inform

If the athlete is under 18 years of age, Designated person(s) to inform the athlete’s parent or guardian about the removal from further training, practice or competition.

A medical assessment determines whether the athlete has a concussion. An athlete will not be permitted to return to training, practice or competition until they receive medical clearance by a physician or nurse practitioner to do so.

Designated person(s) to advise the athlete, or the parent or guardian if the athlete is under 18 years of age, that the athlete is required to undergo a medical assessment by a physician or nurse practitioner before the athlete will be permitted to return to training, practice or competition.

4. Give Protocols

Designated person(s) to provide the athlete or, if the athlete is under 18 years of age, the athlete’s parent or guardian WCSC Removal-from-Sport and Return-to-Sport protocols as soon as possible after the athlete has been removed from further training, practice or competition.

5. Record the Incident

Make and keep a record of incidences where an athlete is removed from further training, practice or competition because they are suspected of having sustained a concussion regardless of whether the athlete is later diagnosed with a concussion. 

6. Returning to Training, Practice or Competition

Once removed, the athlete is not permitted to return to training, practice or competition, except in accordance with WCSC Return-to-Sport protocol.

Return-to-Sport Protocol

The following outlines a return-to-sport process for an athlete who has been removed from training, practice or competition due to a suspected or diagnosed concussion, regardless of whether or not the concussion was sustained or is suspected of having been sustained during a sport activity associated with WCSC.

1. Receive Confirmation

Ensure that an athlete who has sustained a concussion or is suspected of having sustained a concussion does not return to training, practice or competition until the athlete or, if the athlete is under 18 years of age, the athlete’s parent or guardian provides confirmation to the designated person(s) that the athlete:

  • Has undergone a medical assessment by a physician or nurse practitioner and has not been diagnosed as having a concussion, and
  • Has been medically cleared to return to training, practice or competition by the physician or nurse practitioner.

2. If Diagnosed with Having A Concussion

If an athlete has been diagnosed by a physician or nurse practitioner as having a concussion the athlete must proceed through the graduated return-to-sport steps.

3. Graduated Return-to-Sport Steps

It is important to note that typical recovery times vary from person to person, and that some individuals may require more time to progress through the graduated return-to-sport steps.

The graduated return-to-sport steps may include the following activities. It is typically recommended that an athlete with concussion rest for 24 to 48 hours before beginning step 1.

ActivitiesGoal of StepDuration
STEP 1:
Symptom-limiting activities
Daily activities that don’t make symptoms worse, such as moving around the home and simple choresGradual reintroduction of daily school, and work activitiesAt least 24 hours
STEP 2:
Light aerobic activity
Light activities such as walking or stationary bicycle at slow to medium pace for 10 to 15 minutesIncrease heart rateAt least 24 hours
STEP 3:
Sport-specific exercise
Individual physical activity such as running or skating

No contact or head impact activities
Add movementAt least 24 hours
STEP 4:
Non-contact training, practice drills
Harder training drills

Add resistance training (if appropriate)
Exercise, coordination and increased thinkingAt least 24 hours
STEP 5:
Unrestricted Training & Practice
Unrestricted training and practice- with contact where applicableRestore confidence and assess functional skillsAt least 24 hours

Obtain clearance from physician or nurse practitioner before unrestricted training, practice or competition
STEP 6:
Return-to-Sport
Unrestricted competition

An athlete is typically ready to progress to the next step when they can do the activities at their current step without new or worsening symptoms. If at any step symptoms get worse, they should stop and return to the previous step before trying again. If symptoms do not improve or if the symptoms continue to worsen, the athlete should return to the physician or nurse practitioner.

4. Share Medical Advice

An athlete, or the athlete’s parent or guardian must share the medical advice or recommendations they receive with the designated person(s) before being permitted to return to training, practice or competition through the graduated return-to-sport steps, if any.

5. Disclosing Diagnosis

The designated person(s) must inform the athlete or, if the athlete is under 18 years of age, the athlete’s parent or guardian of the importance of disclosing the diagnosis to any other sport organization with which the athlete is registered or school that the athlete attends.

6. Medical Clearance 

The athlete, or the athlete’s parent or guardian must provide the designated person(s) a confirmation of medical clearance by a physician or nurse practitioner before the athlete is permitted to move on to unrestricted training, practice or competition.

7. Record Progression

The sport organization must make and keep a record of the athlete’s progression through the graduated return-to-sport steps until the athlete, or the athlete’s parent or guardian, has provided a confirmation of medical clearance by a physician or nurse practitioner to the designated person(s).  

Note:  The sport organization must limit the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information to that which is reasonably necessary for the purpose of carrying out the sport organization’s protocols, and to limit access to such personal information to only those individuals who require it for the purpose of fulfilling their duties or obligations under the Act. Personal information collected under this protocol shall be retained, disclosed and disposed of in a secure manner and in accordance with the sport organization’s personal information retention policy. The sport organization shall create a retention policy for personal information.


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