With Pamplin Media Group
In competitive Oregon soccer leagues, like the one in which Cuervos FC competes, there is a procedure that inadvertently serves a safety check for concussions.
During the course of play, a referee may witness an impact to the head and call for that player to go into concussion protocol, forcing a substitution.
At the end of the match, all referees turn in their records of the games to the Oregon Youth Soccer Association office, noting things like yellow cards and, in this case, that a substitute came in for a player with a possible concussion.
Software used by OYSA then flags that player as needing medical clearance to return to play, as required by Jenna’s Law.
When a club submits its roster for the next match, the software notifies the assigned referee of that player’s ineligible status, preventing the player from entering the game.
A club must submit a medical release to the league office before the software clears the player.
The OYSA shared its data for the 2017-18 season, in which out of approximately 14,000 players 21 were flagged by referees as having a possible concussion. Out of those, six were later diagnosed with a concussion. The most severe case resulted in a youth removed from play for three to six months.