Concussion Policy

PURPOSE 

1. The Ontario Cycling Association & Etobicoke Cycling Club are committed to maintaining the health of our athletes and believes that an athlete’s health is more important than participating in the sport of cycling. We recognize the increased awareness of concussions and their long-term effects and Etobicoke Cycling Club therefore enacts this Policy as a tool to help manage concussed and possibly-concussed athletes and preserve the health of its members. 

SCOPE 

2. This Policy applies to all Etobicoke Cycling Club athletes, coaches, officials, and members. 

PROCEDURE 

3. During all cycling events, competitions, and practices sanctioned by Etobicoke Cycling Club, participants (which include coaches, athletes, officials, and other members) will use their best efforts to: 

a) Be aware of incidents that may cause a concussion, such as: 

i. Falls 

ii. Accidents 

iii. Collisions 

iv. Head trauma 

b) Understand the symptoms that may result from a concussion, such as: 

i. Nausea 

ii. Poor concentration 

iii. Amnesia 

iv. Fatigue 

v. Sensitivity to light or noise 

vi. Irritability 

vii. Poor appetite 

viii. Decreased memory 

c) Identify athletes or other individuals who have been involved in any of the above incidents and/or exhibit any of the above symptoms

4. Athletes or other individuals who have been involved in an incident that may cause a concussion and who may exhibit symptoms of a concussion shall be identified and removed from the cycling activity. 

5. Following the athlete being removed from the cycling activity, the athlete’s coach or other individual in charge of the athlete (if the athlete is a minor) or someone familiar to the athlete should: 

a) Call an emergency number (if the situation appears serious) 

b) Notify the athlete’s parent (if the athlete is a minor) or someone close to the athlete (if the athlete is not a minor) 

c) Have a ride home for the athlete arranged 

d) Isolate the athlete into a dark room or area 

e) Reduce external stimulus (noise, other people, etc) 

f) Remain with the athlete until he or she can be taken home 

g) Encourage the consultation of a physician 

RETURN TO CYCLING 

6. Once the athlete’s immediate needs have been met, the athlete’s family or the athlete should be directed to the following: 

  1. An athlete who has been concussed should only return to cycling activity by following the steps outlined below and as directed by a physician:
STEP 1: Complete cognitive and physical rest. Immediately consult a physician. Limit school, work and tasks requiring concentration. Refrain from physical activity until symptoms are gone. Once all symptoms are gone, rest for at least another 24-48 hours and re-consult a physician, preferably one with experience managing concussion, for clearance to proceed to Step 2.
STEP 2: Light aerobic exercise to reintroduce physical activity: 10-15 minutes of low intensity cycling on a stationary bike.
STEP 3: 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at 75% of Max Heart Rate.
STEP 4: 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at 75% of Max Heart Rate with 30 second maximum effort intervals at minutes 10, 15, and 20.
STEP 5: Sport-specific aerobic activity and re-introduction of cycling: 15 minutes of low intensity cycling. The environment should be managed so as to ensure the athlete is not in excessive traffic and that there is minimum risk of falling or colliding with other athletes. The athlete may also attempt basic balance drills.
STEP 6: 30 minutes of cycling at 75% of Max Heart Rate with 30 second maximum effort intervals at minutes 10, 15, and 20.
STEP 7: Regular warm-up with high intensity agility/coordination activities and monitored high intensity workout.
STEP 8: Full practice once cleared by a physician.
STEP 9: Return to unrestricted training and competition

MEDICAL CLEARANCE 

7. This Policy requires the athlete to consult with a physician throughout this process and the ECC will comply with all directions provided by the physician which may supersede this policy.