If you think a player may have sustained a spinal injury . . .

Your immediate role is to get help, and keep the player calm and immobile.

After a spinal impact, look for these symptoms:

• Pain in the area of the injury
• Buzzing or tingling in the arms and/or legs
• Loss of movement in the arms or legs
• Radiating pain in the arms or legs

After calling for immediate medical help, give care as follows:

• Ensure adequate airway and breathing.
• Observe the “ABCs”: Airway, Breathing and Circulation.
• Reassure the player.
• Do not allow the player to move. Instruct the player not to move and immobilize him or her to prevent any motion, especially motion of the head or neck.
• Keep the player warm.

Sideline Evaluations for Concussion

Use these guidelines to help decide whether a player may have sustained a concussion:


Ask the player the time, the place, the players, and the situation of the injury.


Ask the player to tell you the months of the year backwards.

1) Ask the player the names of the last two teams you played.
2) Ask for details of the game or practice in progress: strategies, moves, plays, etc.
3) Ask the player to recall three words and three objects immediately, and then the same three words and objects five minutes later.