What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a "ding," "getting your bell rung," or what might seem to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

How to Recognize a Possible Concussion?

To help recognize a concussion, you should watch for the following two things with an athlete:

  • A forceful bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that results in rapid movement of the head. And, 
  • Any change in the athlete’s behavior, thinking, or physical functioning.

It is suggested that any athlete who experiences any of the following signs and symptoms after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, be kept out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, clears the athlete as symptom free and able to return to play.

Click on the Handouts tab for USA Hockey's Concussion Management Guidelines and Concussion Poster.

Heads Up Hockey

Basic principles of Heads Up Hockey:

  • Rule One: Heads up—Don’t duck!
  • Hit the boards or goal posts with an arm, a leg or anything but your head first.
  • Skate into the boards on an angle to dig out the puck.
  • Taking a check: Keep your head out of it. Skates parallel to the boards, knees bent, low center of gravity. Skate through the check and get away quickly.
  • No checking from behind. It’s illegal, dangerous and bad hockey.
  • Wear a snug-fitting, HECC-certified helmet in good shape, plus full facial protection.
  • Use a mouth guard every time you’re on the ice.

Heads Up Hockey:
Safer hockey. Smarter hockey.
Better hockey.

Click on the Handouts tab for more information about the Heads Up Hockey Program.