Return to Play Protocol

North Iowa 

Return to Learn Protocol


  1. 9-12th grade students at North Iowa High School who participate in a sport ( basketball, cheerleading, football, volleyball and wrestling) will receive a baseline concussion test prior to his/her season. 7th and 8th grade students at North Iowa Middle School who participate in football and wrestling will receive a baseline concussion test prior to his/her season.  Baseline text to be performed by coaches with a medical professional.
  2. When a student sustains a blow to the head or face during practice or a game it is important for the student to report if he/she is having any symptoms of a concussion to a coach.

Common Symptoms of a Concussion:

  • Headache or pressure in head
  • Confusion
  • Feeling in a fog
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling off balance
  • Irritability or personality change
  • Sensitive to light or noise
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleeping habits changed (too little or longer)


  1. If the student is suspected of sustaining a concussion, he/she will be put through the concussion Return to Learn (RTL) protocol and/or Return to Play protocol (RTP) by his/her coach. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the student will be referred to see a medical professional.
  2. If the student is struggling to maintain concentration or symptoms are affecting completion of academic work, he/she may need accommodations during school.
  • The following  are possible accommodations (but not limited to)  that may be available to a student who has suffered a concussion:
    • Student can gradually return to school and may start by attending half days if needed.
    • No physical education classes, until guided by medical professional.  Allow student to sit in a quiet environment or rest during scheduled physical education time.
    • No testing or no more than 1 test in a day. Allow for extended time (up to one additional class period) and/or open book at teacher discretion.
    • Give the student pre-printed class notes or allow a copy of peer notes.
    • Reduce the amount of homework required and focus on key concepts.
    • Allow the student to leave class 5 minutes early.
    • Allow preferential seating and/or a quiet work space if requested.
    • Allow the student to wear sunglasses or use noise cancelling headphones if requested.
    • Allow the student to carry a water bottle to stay hydrated.
    • Allow the student to go to the nurse’s office as needed.
    • Allow the student to take breaks as needed.
    • Limit or do not use a computer if the student becomes symptomatic.
    • Remove the student from band and/or vocal if symptoms are provoked by sound. Allow student to sit in a quiet environment or rest during scheduled band/vocal time.


  1. If a student has symptoms beyond three weeks, he/she will be required to follow-up with his/her medical professional.

    6.  Once the student has been able to complete a full day of school without symptoms returning, he/she can start the RTP protocol per medical professional.

    7.  If the symptoms last less than 24 hours and the student is not taken to a medical professional, the student will still need to be treated for a concussion and be put through the RTP protocol, with a medical professional.
  • The RTP consists of 6 stages:  
    • Stage 1- Daily activities that do not provoke symptoms
    • Stage 2- Walking or stationary cycling slow to medium pace. No resistance training.
    • Stage 3- Running or skating drills. No head impact activities.
    • Stage 4- Harder training drills, eg, passing drills. May start progressive resistance training.
    • Stage 5- Following medical clearance, participate in non-contact training/activities.
    • Stage 6- Full-contact practice. Normal game play.
      • If symptoms return on any of these stages, the student must repeat the phase the following day before progressing onto the next stage. The student is not allowed to do more than one stage in a 24 hour period.
      • Student must have all concussion base testing back to baseline before being able to return to full contact practice/competition.


Student Name: _______________________________  Student Birthdate: _________________


Parent’s Signature:­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ ________________________________________  Date: ______________


Student Signature: ________________________________________  Date: ______________