Learn nutrition tips for athletes

Our concussion sideline card can help you recognize signs and symptoms of a concussion. It can also be used for on-field cognitive testing. Athletes should not return to play until symptom-free. Any failure on the on-field cognitive testing should be considered abnormal. Athletes should always consult a physician following a suspected concussion.

Sports Concussion Program Sideline Card

Never Miss a Beat!

Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!

Message and data rates may apply. Text the word STOP to opt out and HELP for help. Click here to view the privacy and terms.

Sports Concussion Program

Signs observed by staff

  • appears to be 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

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

On-field Cognitive Testing


Ask the athlete the following questions:

  • 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.

To schedule an appointment, call 412-432-3681.

About Sports Medicine

An athletic lifestyle carries the potential for injury. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, UPMC Sports Medicine can help. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury, our multidisciplinary team of experts can help you get back into the game. If you are seeking to improve your athletic performance, we can work with you to meet your goals. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our goal is to help you keep doing what you love. Visit our website to find a specialist near you.