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Grafton Soccer Club


Effective April 1, 2016 the Grafton Soccer Club has adopted the following concussion policy in accordance with US Youth Soccer (USYS) and Massachusetts Youth Soccer (MYSA) policy and guidelines:

There has been significant national attention lately regarding the risks associated with head injuries in youth sports. Youth soccer is no different, and there have been several recommendations made at the National, regional and local organizational levels that the Grafton Soccer Club is required to and will  adhere to related to hits to the head/neck area and heading of the ball during games and practices.

First and foremost, our commitment is to ensure the safety of our players. All GSC coaches have taken classes on how to identify and deal with concussions in practice and game situations. In short, if a coach sees a player take a hit to the head/neck area and believes there is a risk of concussion, then the coach will deal with it as if there HAS been a concussion. It is GSC policy that the player is taken out of the game immediately, and the player will not be allowed to return. The coach will observe the player for the remainder of the game/practice, and will discuss the event and follow up care with parents after the session. Coaches are, however, not health care professionals and parents have the responsibility to ensure their child gets the proper care after any suspected concussive event. This policy is non-negotiable, and coaches will strictly adhere to it.

In addition, in compliance with US Youth Soccer (USYS) and Massachusetts Youth Soccer (MYSA),  no heading of the ball will be allowed in any game or practice for players U12 or younger. In order to enforce this rule, referees are instructed to award indirect free kicks when they see a player intentionally head the ball, or attempt to. Coaches will work with kids during practice on how to avoid heading the ball.

One final note: Concussions are not common in youth soccer, but the risk exists throughout youth sports and as such GSC and its coaches take the risk of concussion very seriously. As a result the Grafton Soccer Club has adopted this cautionary policy to address the risks while ensuring that the game remains safe, fun and competitive for all its players. 
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