NFL to Implement New Sideline Test

The National Football League sent out a presser that they will be implementing a standard sideline assessment for concussions in the upcoming year.  The presser reads in whole via the AP;

NDIANAPOLIS — The NFL says it will use a new sideline test to determine concussions next season.The league said in a release Wednesday that more details of the evaluation will be announced on Friday in Indianapolis, where the annual scouting combine is being held this week.

But the NFL said the new sideline test will include a checklist of symptoms, a limited neurological evaluation and a balance assessment. It will employ many components of the evaluation process developed during a Concussion in Sport meeting at Zurich in 2008.

The test was developed by the NFL’s Head, Neck, and Spine Committee, with input from the NFL team physicians and athletic trainers and their professional associations.

If this assessment is based upon Zurich as stated one could expect to see a version of the SCAT2 used, along with the Baseline Error Scoring System.

Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool-2

Baseline Error Scoring System (BESS)

This long overdue as the NFL, weather they like it or not, sets standards that most will grasp and comform to when it comes to concussions in football and sports.

A small disclaimer on the Zurich-2008 Recommendations; professional American football is the ONLY sport that has an exception about allowing players to return to play on the same day;

This issue was extensively discussed by the consensus
panelists and it was acknowledged that there is evidence
that some professional American football players are able to return
to play more quickly, with even same day RTP supported by
National Football League studies without a risk of recurrence or
sequelae.61 There are data, however, demonstrating that at the collegiate
and high school level, athletes allowed to RTP on the same
day may demonstrate NP deficits post-injury that may not be evident
on the sidelines and are more likely to have delayed onset of
symptoms.62–68 It should be emphasized, however, that the young
(<18 years) elite athlete should be treated more conservatively
even though the resources may be the same as for an older professional
athlete (see Section 6.1).

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