Major League Baseball had introduced new policy regarding the treatment of concussions, including a new seven-day disabled list specifically for concussions. Joe Girardi seemed very happy to hear about it this afternoon. Good stuff from MLB. Here’s the announcement.
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced today that they have adopted a series of protocols under its new joint policy regarding concussions, which will be in effect from Opening Day forward.
On behalf of MLB and the MLBPA, a committee of experts formulated a comprehensive policy that will govern the manner in which concussions are initially diagnosed and the determination of when one may return to the field, dictating the response to both player and umpire concussions at the Major League and Minor League levels.
The key components of the policy are:
· Mandatory baseline neuropsychological testing requirements for players and umpires during Spring Training, or when a player joins a club during the season, formalizing a process that most individual Clubs follow;
· Protocols for evaluating players and umpires for a possible concussion, including during incidents typically associated with a high risk, such as being hit in the head a by a pitched, batted or thrown ball or by a bat; being in a collision with a player, umpire or fixed object; or any time when the head or neck of a player or an umpire is forcibly rotated;
· The establishment of a seven-day disabled list for concussions, which will aim to allow concussions to clear, prevent players from returning prematurely and give clubs a full complement of players in one’s absence; any player on the seven-day DL for more than 14 days will automatically and retroactively be transferred to the 15-day DL, effective with the first day of the initial placement, and with the prior 14 days applying to the initial 15-day maximum term; implemented on a trial basis for the 2011 season;
· Protocols for clearing a concussed player or umpire to return to activity; prior to the time that a concussed player is permitted to play in any game (including Major League, Minor League or extended Spring Training games), the Club must submit a “Return to Play” form to MLB’s Medical Director; submission of the form is required irrespective of whether the player was placed on the Disabled List.
The Commissioner’s Office will conduct an orientation for Club medical staffs regarding the new protocols. In addition, each Club will be required to designate a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) specialist in its home city to evaluate players or umpires when necessary.