Concussion Signs and Symptoms Evaluation

Signs Staff Can Observe:

  • appears dazed or stunned
  • is confused about assignment
  • forgets plays
  • is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • moves clumsily
  • answers questions slowly
  • loses consciousness (even temporarily)
  • shows behavior or personality change
  • forgets events prior to hit (retrograde)
  • forgets events after hit (anterograde)


Symptoms Reported by Athlete

  • headache
  • nausea
  • balance problems or dizziness
  • double or fuzzy vision
  • sensitivity to light or noise
  • feeling sluggish
  • feeling “foggy”
  • change in sleep pattern
  • concentration or memory problems

Note: Symptoms may worsen with exertion. Athlete should not return to play until symptom-free.


On-field Cognitive Testing



  • What stadium is this?
  • What city is this?
  • Who is the opposing team?
  • What month is it?
  • What day is it?


Anterograde amnesia

Ask the athlete to repeat the following words:

  • Girl, dog, green


Retrograde amnesia

Ask the athlete the following questions:

  • What happened in the prior quarter/period?
  • What do you remember just prior to the hit?
  • What was the score of the game prior to the hit?
  • Do you remember the hit?



Ask the athlete to do the following:

  • Repeat the days of the week backward, starting with today.
  • Repeat these numbers backward: 63 (36 is correct) 419 (914 is correct)


Word list memory

Ask the athlete to repeat the three words from earlier

  • Girl, dog, green


Any failure should be considered abnormal. Consult a physician following a suspected concussion.


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