There are some existing guidelines for prevention and management of concussions in baseball. Here are some for MLB, Little League, and USA Baseball.
The concussion protocol was established in 2011 and is included in the 2012 – 2016 Basic Agreement. The agreement is set to renew in December 2016.
Here are some of the provisions for placement on the 7-day or 15-day disabled list (DL).
- Players complete baseline testing during Spring training.
- If a player sustains a concussion, or is suspected to, play is stopped and the player’s injury is assessed.
- A Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) can evaluate and treat a player during a game.
- If the ATC deems it necessary, he or she can remove the player from the game and move to the clubhouse for further evaluation. The Team Physician may also evaluate the player in the clubhouse.
- Player completes the SCAT2 form in the clubhouse. If the player seems to not have sustained a concussion, he can return the game. The ATC can then evaluate the player periodically during the remainder of the game. If the player is thought to have a concussion, the team, ATC, and Team Physician can determine whether to place the player on the 7-day or 15-day disabled list.
Placement on the 7-Day Disabled List
The 7-day agreement is established for acute concussions. There is a concussion-specific form that must be completed and submitted to both the Office of the Commissioner and
the Players Association.
The umbrella Little League baseball organization requires that individual leagues and teams take responsibility for concussion prevention. The organization directs teams to follow laws and undergo training. To facilitate that, they’ve pulled together links to the laws for all states and to training materials. Here’s the link to their concussion page:
Little League also implemented ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program). There is a great deal of information available that explains league requirements. There are also posters on varied topics available for download. One such poster shows images of players who were inadvertently hit in the heads by batters. It’s to illustrate rule 1.08 which designates that there can’t be players on deck. If you’re interested in safety requirements for baseball, take a look at this section of the Little League website:
USA Baseball has basic information about symptoms, seeking treatment, and return to play. Here’s the concussion page on the PlayBall.org site: