Concussion Return-to-Play Protocols: Water Polo


Spend 1-2 days at each level before moving to the next. 

If you develop symptoms, NOTIFY YOUR COACH OR TRAINER IMMEDIATELY. Rest one day, then resume at previous level.

  • LEVEL 1 - Light aerobic exercise (increase heart rate); swimming, running, < 70% effort. Begin with 5-10 minutes first day. Following days, gradually increase up to 30 minutes continuous. No resistance training.

  • LEVEL 2 - Sport specific exercise (add movement); examples; swimming, treading water, dribbling. Dry-land ball drills against wall. Advance gradually to full speed training.

  • LEVEL 3 - Progress to Non-contact training drills (exertion, coordination, cognitive load); progress to more complex training drills, e.g., passing drills (with headgear), multiple player (2 or more) drills, shooting.  May begin resistance training.

  • LEVEL 4 - Full contact training after medical clearance; live drills, full team scrimmage. If you are able to train at Level 4 without symptoms you may proceed to Level 5.

  • LEVEL 5 - Game play (may return to full participation)

Note: These return to play protocols are patterned after the generic return to play protocol proposed by the 4th International Conference on Concussion(1), and may differ from the UIL recommended protocol.

(1) McCrory P, Meeuwisse WH, Aubry M, et al.  Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012.  Br J Sports Med 2013; 47: 250-258.