Bridger Ski Foundation Concussion Policy:
Pursuant to Montana State Law and U.S. Ski and Snowboard policies, any Bridger Ski Foundation ("BSF") athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion/ traumatic brain injury must be removed immediately from participation in any BSF sporting event (e.g. sanctioned training, practice, camps, competitions or tryouts), by any BSF agent or coach overseeing such sporting event.
The athlete will be prohibited from further participation until evaluated and cleared in writing to resume participation in BSF sporting events by a qualified health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussive head injuries. The health care professional must certify to BSF in the clearance letter (the “Clearance Letter”) that he/she has successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of concussive head injuries within three years of the day on which the written statement is made.
Upon removal of an athlete from participation for a suspected concussion/traumatic brain injury, the BSF agent or coach making the removal will also inform USSA Competition Services in accordance with the USSA Concussion Policy for USSA members.
In addition to providing a Clearance Letter to BSF, athletes who have subsequently been medically cleared to resume participation must also provide the Clearance Letter to USSA Competition Services in order to be permitted to participate in USSA sporting events.
Bridger Ski Foundation has a software program called ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), which helps families and health care providers better manage concussions sustained by our athletes.
All BSF (Alpine, Freestyle, Nordic) program athletes aged 12 and older as of December 31 of the current/upcoming ski season are strongly encouraged to take ImPACT baseline testing prior to on-snow training. ImPACT testing sessions will be made available to registered athletes by BSF prior to the beginning of each ski season.
ImPACT is a computerized exam used in many professional, collegiate, and high school sports programs across the country to successfully diagnose and manage concussions. If an athlete is believed to have suffered a head injury, ImPACT is used to help determine the severity of head injury and when the injury has fully healed.
The computerized exam should be given to athletes before beginning the ski season. This non-invasive test is set up in a “video-game” type format and takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. It is simple, and actually many athletes enjoy the challenge of taking the test. Essentially, the ImPACT test is a pre-season physical of the brain. It tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed, and concentration. The test is completely non-invasive and poses no risk to the athlete.
Registered BSF athletes and their families will be notified via email of upcoming scheduled testing sessions. Once an athlete has had an ImPACT test, it is good for 2 years.
New for 2018: BSF has partnered with Bozeman-based 4c Sports to add another component of baseline testing that we think will be beneficial. During our baseline testing, 4c Sports will conduct an additional 10-minute, non-invasive test called a Postural Sway, which measures body movement. In the event of an injury, 4c Sports can conduct a Postural Sway test and compare it to the athlete’s established baseline. Athletes stand on a platform with embedded sensors that measure forces acting on the surface from the feet, and they'll be asked to perform a series of balance-related tasks. In the event of an injury, 4c Sports can conduct a Postural Sway test and compare it to the athlete's established baseline all while causing minimal cognitive stress. Because of the low cognitive stress, this test can be used repeatedly in the time period following an injury to help judge progress in the return to health and ultimately the return to skiing.
For additional information on concussions, please refer to the CDC Fact Sheet on Concussions.
If you have any questions or concerns about BSF's Concussion Policy or baseline testing, please contact your Program Director.