Protect our Athlete’s Noggins with Remove From Play Testing.

RFP testing

When my son got into the minivan after training last week, his 11-year-old face was streaked with worry for a fellow teammate. “He hit his head on the goalpost tonight. Right on the temple! I could hear it. He was down for like, two minutes. What if he has a concussion?”

My kiddo and his friend and teammate split time between playing goalkeeper and in the field. It’s an arrangement that works well for both of them. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen keepers laid flat when someone charges the goal when they are down on the ground, having trapped the ball. My guy has been kicked in the head after he’s dove to stop a ball more than once. But it’s not just keepers. Every time I see a kid do a header, or get clipped from a high kick, I cringe a bit. (Hey, I’m a MOM. I’m allowed.)

It opened up an interesting conversation for us, though. I asked him if he had ever really had his bells rung. “Yes, in that first tournament in February. I was really dizzy.”  I wondered if he had asked the coach to sit out. “No”, he replied, “I was trying out for the team. I couldn’t wimp out.” At the end of the game he told us his head hurt, but he didn’t mention the dizziness.

He knows how serious a concussion can be. And that he SHOULD sit out the game. But parents and coaches will often say “boys will be boys” and send them back in as often as some kids aren’t going to volunteer how poorly they actually doing after taking a knock to the head.

I say we should take 2 minutes and make sure that kiddo really is fit for play.


THIS is where Remove From Play testing comes in. It’s a quick, flash card method of concussion screening that is simple to administer and is far more accurate and provides less false positives than current sideline tests for concussions.


It utilizes the King-Devick test, where the player read slightly jumbled lines of numbers printed on three cards as quickly as possible. (A baseline speed is established for comparison.) The King-Devick test measures rapid eye movement, visual tracking and related cognitive responses and is a reliable indicator of cognitive problems. If a player reads the cards more slowly after a head impact that they did on their baseline, he or she is considered to have sustained a concussion. Better yet, it does not require a medical professional to administer the test – a coach, trainer or parent can do it.

I’m lucky – my son has an amazing and conscientious coach, and if the kid told him he was dizzy, he wouldn’t be going back in. But. Not all kids are willing to sit out, so not all will volunteer that information. The King-Devick test removes that decision from their hands, as long as a coach and an organization buys into it as well. At a cost of about $5 per player, it’s a reasonable price to pay to protect our players noggins.

If you have an athlete that plays ANY kind of contact sport and want to learn more please go to the website or view the demonstration video here.  You can also download the The Remove From Play Team Mom Playbook created by concerned mom Maria Bailey. It is the perfect tool for any team mom (or dad) to use in assisting her/him to bring this affordable concussion-screening tool to their child’s school or team.

Because – if you like what you read there (or here) – that’s what we’re asking you to do. Go to your coach, go to your school, and bring them this information. Ask questions: how they for screen concussions, what their policy is for players with a head injury. With all the recent news regarding pro football players with traumatic brain injuries, the conversation needs to happen. Let’s get this conversation started.

After all, our players only get one brain. Let’s protect it while they have fun.



This is NOT a sponsored post – this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart after seeing far too many athletes get knocked hard and go right back into play. Youth sports offer much to our kids in building character, sportsmanship and teamwork. We also have to acknowledge that they are still growing and they need to learn to recognize their own limitations, particularly when injured.

You can also connect with Remove From Play via their social media channels:





  1. Jenn, this is a good idea. The coaches should do the test.

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