Can an athlete intentionally score low on a baseline?
April 27, 2011
We have received several calls recently regarding news articles that have discussed the potential for professional athletes "sand bagging" or attempting to set an artificially low baseline test. Obviously this is disturbing in that it suggests continued lack of awareness regarding the potential long-term effects of concussion and the athlete's responsibility in monitoring their own symptoms. Based on these new stories, it does not appear that the athletes are describing the ImPACT test. However it is important to point out that ImPACT is designed with a "built in" validity index that screens for athletes who may be attempting to set a low baseline. In fact, the ImPACT report "flags" all suspicious test results after the completion of each baseline test. This feature is thoroughly discussed on the ImPACT website and is covered in all ImPACT training activities. It is extremely important that this feature is correctly utilized by the clinicians who are using the ImPACT program. Any athlete suspected of sandbagging should be immediately retested