The Dallas Stars organization has teamed up with Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine to implement a new concussion policy for the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey League.
The policy will require all participating athletes to take a baseline ImPACT test prior to the start of the season. The test will determine the athlete's baseline neuro-cognitive function, according to a press release from Texas Health and the Dallas Stars.
Any player showing signs or symptoms of a concussion will automatically be placed on the 14-day disabled list and will not be able to return to play until he has received a note from a ImPACT credentialed physician clearing him to play.
The policy will give a true read on the condition of an injured player without having to rely on the athlete's word, former metroplex high school coach Gary Emery said.
"The problem is the kid has to be honest with you," Emery said. "A lot of times the kid wouldn't be honest with you if he's having headaches and wants to come back again and otherwise would have to sit out two weeks."
Getting the full picture on concussions also helps put true priorities in the right order.
"These kids aren't going to be professional hockey players," Emery said. "We're talking about other types of life experiences here and ending up with a brain injury isn't one of them."