Return to Play Progression (5 Stages)

Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer - RETURN TO PLAY PROGRESSION (5 STAGES)

This is the Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer general guideline for a return to soccer acitivities after a diagnosis of concussion and medical clearance to return to play.  The goal of the Return to Play Progression is for there to be at least a twenty-four (24) hour peiod between each stage in which the returning athlete is without symptoms.  If symptoms reoccur or increase, then there should not be advancement to the next stage until the athlete can complete the stage, with at least a twenty-four (24) hour period between each stage, without any symptoms. When possible, the Return to Play Progression should be done with the assistance of a medical professional.  This Return to Play Progression should not be started until the athlete has ZERO symptoms with everyday activities AND has been cleared to start the Return to Play Progression in the second box in the Follow-Up Evaluation section of the Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Concussion Program:  Physician Clearance Form.  All athletes will begin with Stage 1 following the Return to Play Progression clearance.  To help in athlete participation and compliance, all stages should be administered during the athlete's normal practice schedule and at the practice location with their team, when appropriate.  A Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Return to Play Progression (5 Stages) Form, with each stage dated and initialed, MUST BE RETURNED to Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer with the athlete's signed Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Concussion Program:  Physician Clearance Form.


Stage 1: Light Aerobic Activity

  • Goal is to increase your heartrate
  • Activity:  Stationary biking, incline walking, elliptical, etc . . .
  • Duration:  10 – 15 minutes of total activity

Stage 2: Moderate Aerobic Exercise

  • Goal is to return to base level of fitness
  • Activity:  Jogging, swimming, low level weight lifting, etc . . .
  • Duration:  20 – 30 minutes of cardio activity

Stage 3: Sport Specific Activity

  • Goal is to return to activities that resemble the sport
  • Activity:  Sprinting, cutting, ball skills, etc . . . on the surface that the sport is played
  • Duration:  45 – 60 minutes of total activity

Stage 4: Non-Contact Return to Practice

  • Goal is return to the team setting of practice without entering into any contact activty, including heading
  • Allow for reaclimation to being around other people
  • Can be done in practice setting or with other athletes that understand the parameters
  • Very important to make sure coaches, athletic trainers and other players work together in this phase

Stage 5: Full Contact Practice

  • Goal is return to full practice so that the athlete feels comfortable competing in a game
  • Need medical clearance for progression to this stage
  • If all parties agree (medical team, coach, parents, athlete) then return to full clearance is the next phase


** Again, it is very important to remember that the athlete must be symptom free for twenty-four (24) hours, after completing the activities described in one stage, before progressing to a new stage.  Symptom free means no symptoms in the twenty-four (24) hour period following the completion of activity.  Players must complete all stages to return to play.  Player safety and welfare is the only consideration.  Game availability is NOT.




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