For Coaches

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Remove From Play

As a coach, you are responsible for the safety of your athletes. Remove from play is the most important aspect of handling concussions on the sidelines so that athletes are protected from further brain trauma. Learn the signs and symptoms of concussion so that you can make an informed and responsible decision. Sideline assessment tools are excellent aids for ensuring the safety of your athletes.

Chris Nowinski, author of Head Games, explains why only having a Return to Play concussion protocol addresses just half the problem.

Dr. Robert Cantu, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine, explains the risks of continuing to play with a concussion.


If an athlete is exhibiting any of these signs and symptoms, he or she should be removed from play immediately and evaluated by a medical professional.
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The King-Devick Test

The King-Devick Test is an objective remove-from-play sideline concussion screening test that can be administered by parents and coaches in under 2 minutes.

King-Devick Test is a two-minute test that requires an athlete to read single digit numbers displayed on cards or on an iPad. After suspected head trauma, the athlete is given the test and if the time needed to complete the test is any longer than the athlete’s baseline test time, the athlete should be removed from play and should be evaluated by a licensed professional.

Visit the King-Devick Test website for more information.
Sports Concussion Assessment Tool- 3rd Edition
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The Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 3 (SCAT3) is a tool for evaluating injured athletes from concussion and can be used in athletes over the age of 13. For younger athletes, the Child SCAT3 is available. The SCAT3 is designed for use by medical professionals only.

The SCAT3 is comprised of 8 subtests that take roughly 15 minutes to complete including the Glasgow Coma Scale, Maddocks questions, a 22-item symptom checklist, cognitive and physical evaluations using a balance assessment, coordination assessment and the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC).

View the SCAT3 here.
Standardized Assessment of Concussions

The Standardized Assessment of Concussions (SAC) is used as the cognitive sub scale of the SCAT3. This measures orientation, immediate memory, concentration and delayed recall.

The Orientation Score is determined by five questions, and one point is awarded for each correct answer:
1. What month is it?
2. What is the date today?
3. What is the day of the week?
4. What year is it?
5. What time is it right now? (within 1 hour)

The Immediate Memory Score assesses the ability to recall five words that are read to the athletes on three separate trials. For example, the athlete is asked to repeat the words elbow, apple, carpet, saddle, bubble. One point is awarded for each word recalled correctly for each trial, with a maximum score of 15.

The Concentration Score is determine in two parts. First, the athlete will be asked to repeat a string of numbers in reverse order. For example, if the tester reads 7-1-9, the correct response is 9-1-7. Four trials are completed with number strings three to six digits long. One point is awarded for each correct trial. The second part of the Concentration Score is determined by asking the athlete to list the months of the year in reverse order. One point is awarded for the entire sequence being correct.

The Delayed Recall Score is determined later in the test by asking the athlete to remember as many of the words listed in the immediate memory section as they can. One point is awarded for each correct response.

The SAC can be administered in five to seven minutes making it a practical sideline assessment tool and athletes suffering from concussion have been shown to have worse scores than baseline and control athletes.

View the SAC here.