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    Basketball Concussion Education & Resource Centre

    Concussions can occur while participating in any sport or recreational activity. Since the circumstances under which a concussion can be sustained are so varied, it’s important for all coaches, parents, and athletes to be aware of the signs, symptoms, and what to do if a concussion occurs. Basketball Manitoba is committed to increased education, awareness, and established protocols that will assist you in gaining the knowledge and skills required ensuring the safety of your athletes. We can all work together to ensure a safe sport environment.

    Concussion prevention, recognition and management requires athletes to follow the rules and regulations of their sport, respect their opponents, avoid head contact, and report suspected concussions.  Concussions are not just an issue in hockey and football.  In basketball, they may occur while falling to the floor, during a collision of players, by an arm or elbow to the head or other causes.

    A concussion is a serious event, but you can recover fully from such an injury if the brain is given enough time to rest and recuperate. Returning to normal activities, including sport participation, is a step-wise process that requires patience, attention, and caution.


    As a player, you have a role on the court to ensure your teammates and opponents have a safe playing environment so we can all enjoy the sport of basketball.  As a player, the following tips are to be followed while playing basketball in a game or practice environment...
    • UNDERCUTTING. When defending a player on the floor who is driving to the basket on a shot or in the air rebounding, do not undercut a player as this is probably the riskiest move in the game that will lead to serious injuries, including head injuries.  All airborne players have the right to land on the floor without another player impeding that space.  Video Example 1 | Video Example 2
    • BLOCKING OUT. When blocking a player out while on defense, you still need to allow an opportunity for an opponent to safely land on the floor.  Undercutting any player on the floor for any reason is not an acceptable part of the game.  Video Example
    • REBOUNDING. When rebounding the ball on offense or defense, refrain from any excessive swinging of elbows.  While in the key, there are a lot of other players around you and a blow to the head by an elbow can lead to a serious concussion by a teammate or opponent. Video Example 1 | Video Example 2
    • CLOSEOUTS. When defending another player, properly 'close out' to contest the shot, but still allow the shooter some safe distance to land on the floor.  Poor closeouts can lead to serious injuries including a concussion if the player hits the floor with their head. Video Example
    • SCREENING. When screening another player.... MORE NEEDED HERE
    • HONESTY. Be honest with yourself, your parents and your coach if and when you were to be suspected of sustaining a concussion.  No game, no matter how big or small, is worth risking your long term health and well being.  Help make basketball a sport for life for everyone!  
    • OTHERS???

    To help prevent a player on the court from the risks of a concussions, the following coaching tips are to be strongly considered by coaches at any level...
    • UNDERCUTTING. Teach proper defense to defend a player driving to the basket without 'undercutting' a player shooting a layup or shot and allow for them to properly land on the floor. Video Example 1 | Video Example 2
    • BLOCKING OUT. Similar to undercutting, teach a proper technique of blocking out by getting your player between the defense and rim, but to still allow an opponent a safe opportunity to land on the floor.  Video Example
    • REBOUNDING. Teach proper offensive or defensive rebounding techniques to not allow for excessive swinging of elbows. Video Example 1 | Video Example 2
    • CLOSEOUTS. Teach proper defensive 'close outs' to contest another player shooting the ball, but allowing for the shooter to land on the floor safely.  Video Example
    • SCREENING. When teaching setting a proper screen, do so .... MORE NEEDED HERE
    • SAFE ENVIRONMENT. Ensure the playing area is set up in a safe manor.  Ensure that there is adequate padding (2+ inch thick, 6+ feet tall, 10+ feet wide) on the walls under each basket (including cross courts if using them in practices), that all volleyball/badminton holes are securely covered, any other obstacles near the playing surface are removed or padded (bleachers, benches, chairs, score table, stage, climbing apparatus, etc), unused basketballs are not left on the court during practices, and the floor is swept and dry of any dust or liquids.   
    • OTHERS???
    Many of these above points are seen as common sense in basketball but for players new to the sport or who may come from another more physical sport, you as coach can't take it for granted that player will know this information.  The best treatment for a concussion is prevention.  We can all play in a roll in ensuring the athletes on the floor and in your care have a safe and positive experience with the game!  Help make basketball a sport for life for everyone!

    • INFORM YOUR COACH.  Advise your coach at the start of the season or program that your child has sustained concussions in the past.   The more concussions one receives makes then far more susceptible to sustaining ones in the future. 
    • COMMUNICATE. Your child's coach only sees them a few hours a day at best, so you need to inform them if your child is suffering from or being suspected of sustaining a concussion from any other activity they are involved in.  Don't assume that your child's other coaches or physical education staff are aware of this.  
    • DON'T ASSUME. As a fan, if you suspect any player on the court from either team is showing concussion like symptoms, inform your own coach that this needs to be addressed.  Don't assume the coach saw the action or is aware of what may have lead to the suspected concussion.  You may be closer to the situation that caused it than the coach is.
    • SUPPORT THE COACH. Work with your child's coach to support any decision that is made to remove your child from a game or practice.  If any of the above noted symptoms are present, we all need to error on the side of caution and remove them from the activity.  No game, no matter how big or small, is worth risking your long term health and well being.  Help make basketball a sport for life for everyone!  
    • Unsporting fouls
    • Excessive swinging of elbows
    • Advise coach if a concussion is suspected
    • MORE...

    STEP 1. Pre-season Concussion Education Sheet
    A document that a coach can use during their pre-season meeting with all parents and players on their team to discuss what a concussion is and how the team will manage suspected concussions sustained in the program.  (includes Return to School and Return to Sport Strategy)

    STEP 2. Concussion Recognition Tool “Recognize & Remove”
    Head impacts can be associated with serious and potentially fatal brain injuries. The Concussion Recognition Tool 5 is to be used for the identification of suspected concussion. It is not designed to diagnose a concussion.

    STEP 3. Medical Assessment Tool
    This document can be used by an athlete’s Physician or Nurse Practitioner as the official “Medical Assessment Tool” when dealing with a suspected concussion.

    STEP 4. Basketball Manitoba Youth Concussion Protocol
    This detailed step by step document that walks a player through the different recovery steps including basketball related examples a coach can use to slowly return a player to full activity.  More "Return to Play" Protocol...

    STEP 5. Medical Clearance Letter
    Athletes who are diagnosed with a concussion should be managed according to the Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport including the Return-to-School and Return-to-Sport Strategies. No athlete that has been diagnosed and is being treated for a concussion can be “returned to play” without presenting this signed Medical Clearance Letter to their head coach.

    All of this information can also be found on the Basketball Manitoba Scoreboard app in the 'Concussions' section.  Get the free app to have this information with you court side at all games and practices! 

    50+ Page Detailed Guidelines

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    Item Reviewed: Basketball Concussion Education & Resource Centre Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Adam Wedlake
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