Concussion Signs and Symptoms Information Sheet

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

Did you know?

 Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
 Athletes who have, at any point in their lives, had a concussion have an increased risk for another concussion.
 Young children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.

Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks following the injury.

If an athlete reports one or more symptoms of concussion listed below after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, the athlete should be kept out of play the day of the injury and until an approved health care provider* says the athlete is symptom-free and it is safe to return to play.


  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment or position
  • Forgets an instruction
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness, even briefly
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
  • Can’t recall events after hit or fall


  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balanced problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”

What are the Concussion Danger Signs?

In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain in a person with a concussion and crowd the brain against the skull. An athlete should receive immediate medical attention after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body if the athlete exhibits any of the following danger signs:

  • Has one pupil larger than the other;
  • Is drowsy or cannot be awakened;
  • Has a headache that does not diminish or go away;
  • Has weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination;
  • Has repeated vomiting or nausea;
  • Has slurred speech;
  • Has convulsions or seizures;
  • Unable to recognize people or places;
  • Becomes increasingly confused, restless, or agitated;
  • Demonstrates unusual behavior;
  • Loses consciousness (even though brief it is serious)


Concussions affect individuals differently. While most athletes with a concussion recover quickly and fully, some will have symptoms that last for days, or weeks. A more serious concussion can last for months or longer.

Why should an Athlete Report Symptoms?

If an athlete has a concussion, their brain needs time to heal. While an athlete’s brain is healing, they are more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes to recover. In rare cases, repeat concussions in young athletes can result in brain swelling or permanent damage to one’s brain. They (concussions) can even be fatal.

What should you do if you think your Athlete has a Concussion?

If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, remove the athlete from play and seek medical attention. Do NOT try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care provider* says the athlete is symptom-free and is safe to return to play.

Rest is a key component to helping an athlete recover from a concussion. Exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or grow worse. Following a concussion, returning to sports and school should be a gradual process that is carefully managed and monitored by a health care professional.

*NOTE: Health Care Provider means a Tennessee licensed medical doctor, osteopathic physician, or clinical neuropsychologist with concussion training.

MUST be signed and returned to the member club/association that is affiliated with Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA) prior to participation in practice or competition. NOTE: This form must be downloaded, filled out, scanned and emailed to your coach. You can also take a photo of the completed and signed form and email it to your coach.

*** Get all forms in on time! ***

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