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New Concussion Baseline Test Requirements

By Chicago Hawks, 06/21/19, 11:45AM CDT


Dear Hawks and Phantoms Families:


I hope that you are taking time to rest and enjoy the summer. Hockey Director Steve Poapst, the Hawks Board of Directors, and many of our coaches and volunteers are busy planning the 2019/2020 season in order to provide the best program possible to our members. 


The most important part of any Hawks program is safety. Our highest priority is to offer a safe environment for players to enjoy the sport that we love. One of the biggest safety concerns in youth sports today is concussion prevention and management. 


To ensure we are doing everything we can to address this concern, the Hawks have partnered with Achieve Orthopedic Sports Institute ( ) to provide FREE and MANDATORY baseline concussion testing to our members. Achieve is a proven leader in the field of orthopedics and concussion management. They provide services to several area soccer and football teams, gymnasts, and NHL players.


The baseline test administered by Achieve is the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test. This nationally recognized test assesses a player’s decision-making ability, reaction time, verbal and visual memory and processing speed while healthy. In the event that the player suffers a head injury, the ImPACT test provides qualified medical providers the information necessary to determine the degree to which a player has been affected by an injury and the level of function that must be met before he/she returns to activity.




We understand that undergoing baseline testing before tryouts will inconvenience some members. Nevertheless, I strongly encourage you make every effort to fulfill this requirement as soon as possible. This test will not prevent a concussion; but in the unfortunate event that your child suffers a head injury, it will be the best tool you have to make sure your son or daughter fully recovers before he or she resumes activity.


How do I sign up for the free baseline test?

Register for tryouts. At the end of the tryout registration module, there will be a link to sign up for testing with Achieve through Sign-Up Genius. Tryout registration will be available the first week in July. 


How long is the ImPACT test?

The test will take approximately 30 minutes.


Where is Achieve located?

Achieve is located at 6300 Kingery Highway, Suite 204, in Willowbrook (in the Whole Foods plaza), about 1.5 miles from the Darien Sportsplex.


What happens if my player suffers a head injury?

If your player suffers a suspected concussion ANYWHERE (the injury does not have to be hockey-related) within a year of testing, Achieve will provide follow-up testing. The follow-up test results will help determine if your player requires further treatment. 


If you require additional treatment, Achieve has the resources to refer you to a professional in the area who is trained in concussion management. You are not required to use one of the physicians recommended by Achieve. However, if your player’s follow-up test results indicate that additional treatment is necessary, the player will not be allowed to return to the ice without written clearance from a qualified medical professional.


What if my player took the ImPACT test at another facility last year?

Best practices require athletes to re-take a baseline test every year. If you have an ImPACT test on file with another facility that was taken on or after 3/30/19 , we will accept the results of that test. However, we strongly recommend that you consider retaking the test at Achieve for consistency of administration.  


What if I take the ImPACT test and do not ultimately participate in a Hawks program?

If for some reason you sign up for tryouts, take a baseline test, and then decide not to participate in a Hawks or Phantoms fall program, you will still be able to get a copy of your test results for future use. There is no downside to completing a baseline test. 


Will ImPACT baseline testing replace the King-Devick remove-from-play test?

No. The purpose of the King-Devick test is to guide removal-from-play decisions. It is used to determine if a player who is not demonstrating other concussion symptoms should be removed from play until evaluated by a medical professional.


What else can I expect from the Hawks’ partnership with Achieve?

Achieve will provide education and training to coaches and parents on many different sports-related injuries and issues throughout the season. We are happy to be able to provide an injury resource for all members who require one during the season.


We are in the process of adding a concussion section to our website so that you will be able to easily access this information as well as guidance from USA Hockey regarding head injuries.


In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at




Melissa Surrette