- If a student-athlete exhibits signs and symptoms consistent with a concussion (even if not formally diagnosed), the student-athlete is to be removed from play and is not allowed to return to play (game, practice, or conditioning) on that day.
- Student-athletes are encouraged to report their own symptoms or to report if peers may have concussion symptoms. Coaches, parents, volunteers, first responders, school nurses, certified athletic trainers (if available), are responsible for removing a student-athlete from play if they suspect a concussion.
- Following the injury, the student-athlete should be evaluated by a Licensed Health Care Provider. It is strongly recommended that each school seek qualified medical professionals in the surrounding community with training in concussion management to serve as resources in the area of concussion management. All SCHSL member school student-athletes diagnosed with a concussion are required to have written medical clearance by a physician. ‘Physician’ is defined in the same manner as provided in Section 40-47-20(35).
- A local school district shall develop guidelines and procedures based on the model guidelines and procedures referenced in subsection (A) regarding the identification and management of concussions.
Definitions Associated With Concussion Rule
- Appropriate Health-Care Professional: an individual(s) from the following professions who are designated as the persons to diagnose whether an athlete has or does not have a concussion:
- MD – A medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina
- DO – A doctor of osteopathic medicine licensed to practice in South Carolina|
- PA – A physicians assistant licensed to practice in South Carolina
- NP – A registered nurse practitioner licensed to practice in South Carolina
- AT – An athletic trainer certified nationally or by the State of South Carolina
- These shall be the only persons who shall clear an athlete’s re-entry into a contest when the athlete has been removed from the contest due to signs or symptoms of a concussion (as described in the NFHS rules book for each sport). If none of these are present at the contest, the athlete shall not return to that contest or any subsequent contest until cleared by one of the above listed health-care professionals.
- Contest Officials Role – to recognize the symptoms consistent with that of a concussion and remove the athlete from the contest until he/she has been diagnosed by an appropriate healthcare professional. [Officials shall always rule on the side of caution with the health and safety of the athlete being his primary and foremost concern].
NOTE: Only an MD or DO shall release an athlete, diagnosed as having a concussion, to return to competition.