Field Hockey Canada > Safe Sport > Concussion Management Protocol

Field Hockey Canada has developed the Field Hockey Canada Concussion Protocol to help guide the management of athletes who may have a suspected concussion as a result of participation in field hockey-related activities. 

This protocol covers the following key topics:

  • recognition,
  • medical diagnosis, and
  • management of athletes who may sustain a suspected concussion during a sport activity.
  • return to school and return to sport process

This protool aims to ensure that athletes with a suspected concussion receive timely and appropriate care and proper management to allow them to return back to their sport safely. 

This protocol is intended for use by all individuals who interact with athletes inside and outside the context of sports activity, including athletes, parents, coaches, officials, teachers, and licensed healthcare professionals




Pre-Season Concussion Education Sheet 

Concussion Recognition Tool 5 (CRT5)  

SCAT 5 (Physical) 

Child SCAT5 

Medical Clearance Letter  

FHC Concussion Policy

The FHC Concussion Policy addresses the identification and management of a suspected or confirmed concussion, as well as the protocol for Return to Play for any Participant associated with Field Hockey Canada activities. Field Hockey Canada is not responsible for diagnosing concussions – this can only be done by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner – but Field Hockey Canada can contribute to the immediate identification and management of concussions. Return to Play procedures for Participants suffering from a confirmed concussion should be guided by the health care professional in charge of treatment. 

It is important to remember:  

  • That anyone on the field of play can sustain a concussion. That includes athletes, coaches and bench staff and Umpires and Officials 
  • Individuals with a previous history of concussion are at a higher risk of concussion and take a longer time to recover 
  • Females are at higher risk of concussion 
  • A person does not need to be knocked out (lose consciousness) to have had a concussion 
  • Failure to recognize and report concussion symptoms or returning to activity with ongoing concussion symptoms can result in long-term health repercussions.


Field Hockey Canada strongly recommends that all athletes, coaches, officials, and parents maintain an updated education of concussion awareness and management. Optimizing the prevention and management of concussion depends highly on annual education on current evidence-informed approaches that can prevent concussion and more serious forms of head injury and help identify and manage an athlete with a suspected concussion. 

Concussion education should include information on: 

  • the definition of concussion, 
  • possible mechanisms of injury, 
  • common signs and symptoms, 
  • steps that can be taken to prevent concussions and other injuries from occurring in sport, 
  • what to do when an athlete has suffered a suspected concussion or more serious head injury, 
  • what measures should be taken to ensure proper medical assessment, 
  • Return-to-School and Return-to-Sport Strategies, and 
  • Return to sport medical clearance requirements 

Examples of online Concussion education tools: 

Concussion Awareness Training Tool 

Web-based tools, resources, 30-minute online course (for parents, athletes, and coaches)

Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) Making Head Way  

E-Learning module (primarily for NCCP-certified coaches)  

Parachute Canada 

E-learning modules for parents and players  


The formal diagnosis of concussion should be made following a medical assessment, however, all sport stakeholders including athletes, parents, teachers, coaches, teachers, officials, and licensed healthcare professionals are responsible for the recognition and reporting of athletes who may demonstrate visual signs of a head injury or who report concussion-related symptoms. 

Visual Cues that suggest possible concussion include: 

  • Dazed, blank or vacant look 
  • Lying motionless on ground / slow to get up 
  • Unsteady on feet / balance problems / falling over / poor coordination Loss of consciousness or responsiveness 
  • Confused or not aware of play or events 
  • Grabbing, clutching, or shaking of the head 
  • Seizure 
  • More emotional or irritable than normal for that person 
  • Injury event that could have caused a concussion 

Symptoms of concussion: 

  • Headache or “Pressure in head” 
  • Dizziness or balance problems 
  • Mental clouding, confusion, or feeling slowed down 
  • Trouble seeing 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Fatigue 
  • Drowsiness or feeling like “in a fog“ or difficulty concentrating Sensitivity to light or noise 
  • Difficulty with reading, learning or work 
  • Sleep problems: getting asleep, too much or too little Emotional / anger / sad / anxious 

Concussion Red Flags: 

If an athlete exhibits or reports any of the following, call an ambulance for emergency medical assessment.

  • Neck pain or tenderness 
  • Severe or increasing headache – Deteriorating conscious state 
  • Double vision 
  • Seizure or convulsion – Loss of consciousness 

**If there is any doubt regarding an athlete’s status or potential for concussion the player should be removed from the activity. **

This includes any Participant who sustains a significant impact to the head, face, neck, or body and demonstrates ANY of the visual signs of a suspected concussion or reports ANY symptoms of a suspected concussion as detailed in the
Concussion Recognition Tool 5. 


The following charts outline the process of return to school/work and return to field hockey activity.   It is important to note that as part of the FHC Concussion Management Protocol these should be followed as part of the comprehensive management protocol outlined in the Concussion Management Protocol document available HERE.

FHC Concussion Staged Return to Field Hockey Activity


FHC Concussion Staged Return to School or Work

This must be achieved prior to stage 4 or 5 of the return to field hockey activity.