Dover-Sherborn Girls Lacrosse is very serious about protecting our players from brain injuries.
Girls do not wear helmets in the game of Womens (girls) Lacrosse. Along with very successful coaches and trainers in MA, we believe that the best prevention of injury is education of players and coaches. All players and coaches should understand the rules of the game (what is legal) and therefore how to play safely. We believe that adding helmets to the girls game would only lead to a more violent and injury-ridden play.
However, we want to be able to react appropriately to a head injury in the game. Therefore, DS Girls Lacrosse is at the forefront of the work being done in our league -- the Founders Girls Lacrosse League. You can read more at www.fgll.org.
To begin, all DS coaches will be required to read the "Concussion Signs and Symptoms" posted on that site and encouraged to keep a copy in their lacrosse bags. Second, DSGL will implement ImPACT testing for all girls in grades 5-8 beginning in the spring of 2010.
Below you will find a letter and associated FAQs sent to parents that describes our efforts on this important topic.
How many times have you heard or used the expression “you got your bell rung” when someone took a hit on the field? Realistically, it does not happen very often in girls lacrosse. But when it does, it may appear that all-is-well; yet the reality may be far different…and potentially tragic.
In an effort to help identify and manage concussions among our young athletes, DS Girls Lacrosse, in conjunction with DS Boys Lacrosse and DS Youth Soccer, will be offering the ImPACT Concussion Management service for our 5th-8th grade players this spring. All students at DS High School participate in this service.
This service will be free to all our players and involves taking a short, web-based set of memory and reaction tests that establish a neuro-cognitive baseline for your daughter. We plan on offering these tests at the Chickering computer lab during some of our upcoming practices. While these tests are optional, we strongly recommend that all girls in grades 5-8 be baseline tested.
In addition to the testing, DS Girls Lacrosse will be offering some very basic training to our coaches to help them identify signs and symptoms that may be of concern. The coaches will also be briefed on a recommended action plan in the event your daughter sustains any sort of injury that may resemble a concussion.
If an incident occurs, the coaches will, using their judgment:
- Remove your daughter from the current game and keep her out if there is any concern of a possible concussion
- Speak with you at the game if you are available. If you are not available, the coach will follow-up via phone.
- Give you a handout (or web link) describing the signs/symptoms
- Offer to get you a copy of the baseline ImPACT test in the event that you choose to seek a medical consult
It will be your responsibility to determine if and when your daughter should return to practice and games. DS Girls Lacrosse and their coaches will not be responsible for assessing a player’s ability to return to competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is my daughter required to take the test?
No. However we recommend all girls take advantage of this free service.
How much will the test cost?
The test is free to all girls in our program. DS Girls Lacrosse did not budget for this test this season but the additional cost is roughly $3 per girl. Any donations to DSGL to support this program will be gratefully appreciated.
Are the test results confidential?
Yes. A test administrator, most likely a team coach or manager, will review the girls results to make sure there are no problems (incomplete test, skewed results, etc). The results will be stored on a secure server. Baseline tests can be downloaded by the program administrator (in 2010 this will be Dave Laidman –
in the event a parent needs these results for medical purposes.
Please note - this is not a pass/fail test. It simply provides a baseline that can be used for comparison purposes in the event of a head injury.
Is this the same test that is being offered to all DSHS students?
Yes. DSHS mandates that all students take the baseline test regardless of their class, sport or activity. ImPACT is a program used by the National Football League, the National Hockey League, many minor league teams, and many college and high school programs across the nation.
Why isn’t this testing offered to girls in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades?
ImPACT testing has been determined to be less effective with children under 10 and since the vast majority of our girls in these grades are younger than 10, we are not offering to them at this time.
How often is my daughter required to take this test?
The baseline test should be taken every 2 years. For all 7th and 8th graders, they will not take the test through DSGL again as it will be offered in high school. 5th and 6th graders will take this test again in 2012.
How will the test be administered?
The test is run on a computer connected to the internet. We will use the computers in the lab at Chickering School. A coach, team manager and/or volunteer parent will be in the lab to supervise the test. The baseline assessment will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
How can the test help if my daughter sustains a possible concussion?
If an athlete suffers a head injury, the program administrator can print out the results of the test and give them to the parent so they can be shared with your primary care physician.
In many cases your primary care physician may not have the ability to use the test results effectively. DSGL has partnered with Dr. Neal McGrath, a neuropsychologist and recognized expert in the field of traumatic brain injuries. If desired, parents can make an appointment with Dr. McGrath for further evaluation. He can issue a post-injury ImPACT test and compare the results to the athlete’s original test. From there he can determine and recommend the appropriate care for your daughter.
How can I get a copy of the test results?
If your daughter sustains a (suspected) concussion and you want a copy of the test results for aid in diagnosis and recovery, contact Dave Laidman (email@example.com, 508-785-3242) and Caren Stangel (firstname.lastname@example.org, 508-647-0859). Either Dave or Caren will email the test results to you.
How are the test results used?
The test results can be used by any qualified ImPACT testing facility. Our tests are administered by Sports Concussion New England (contact information below) and Dr. Neal McGrath. Children's Hospital is another local facility that uses the ImPACT tests. Note that it is unlikely your GP will have been trained in using these tests as an aid in diagnosing a concussion or in the recovery process.
If you choose to visit with Dr. McGrath, you can contact them for an appointment at 617-553-8096. They can access your child's test results through their system (you don't need us to email them to you). They accept most health insurance plans except the Tufts and Harvard plans. If a patient has a health insurance that they do not accept they offer a reduced rate of $375 for the initial evaluation and $175 for each follow-up appointment. When an athlete is referred to the office Dr. McGrath can better assess the situation and provide academic accommodations and return to play decisions for the student. Office hours at M - F 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Information can also be found on their website at www.sportsconcussion.net
SPORTS CONCUSSION NEW ENGLAND &
NEAL McGRATH, Ph.D.
1368 Beacon Street - Suite 116
Brookline MA 02446
Where can I learn more about concussions, concussion management, ImPACT testing and Dr. Neal McGrath?
· A good video from an athlete who had a serious concussion:
· A good video from the mom of the athlete above:
· Further information on ImPACT can be found on the web at
· Further information on Dr. McGrath can be found at
· Guide for Recognizing Concussions from the CDC
· Fact Sheet for Athletes to Help Them Understand Concussions