Talk about your baseline testing.

The five-year-old Maine Concussion Management Initiative held a symposium of sorts in Section 6 behind the north basket stanchion Sunday afternoon prior to the NBA Development League game between the Red Claws and the Delaware 87ers.

“This is our first road show,” said Dr. Paul Berkner, president of the MCMI and sports team physician at Colby College.

“We’ve done upward of 75 one-hour educational programs. We’ve done probably 20 provider trainings (for school nurses and athletic trainers). But we’ve never done this sort of public question-and-answer venue before.”

The Red Claws invited Berkner, who brought along a physician, a high school athletic trainer, a coordinator of student services at Colby, the school nurse consultant from the state Department of Education, and Billy Parker, a 20-year-old junior at Colby whose football career as a defensive end was cut short by a concussion suffered during preseason practice a year ago.

They talked about how to recognize concussion symptoms, how to manage concussed athletes and the protocol for returning to the classroom and playing field.

“We’re trying to get the word out and raise awareness,” said Parker, who, like most concussed athletes, never lost conciousness and figured the blow to the left side of his helmet simply resulted in what he described as a stinger. Another collision later in the same practice left him feeling dizzy and, later that night, irritable.

“Eighty percent of people are healed within three weeks,” he said. “One percent of the people take more than six months. I’m still not 100 percent and it’s been more than a year.”

The small audience included about two dozen parents and youth coaches from the Massabesic Area Youth Football and Cheering program, which experienced an alarming 13 concussions this fall among its seventh- and eighth-grade football team.

“It’s kind of scary,” said Colleen Gerry of Waterboro, who has a daughter who plays co-ed high school hockey. “Why are we seeing this many injuries? What are we supposed to do?”

One parent asked about special protective devices beyond the normal football or hockey helmet. Dr. William Heinz, an orthopedist on the board of the MCMI, said if research showed that more padding were helpful, it would be built in to the helmet’s design.

“Helmets were designed to stop skull fractures and they’re very effective at that,” Heinz said. “They were never designed to stop a concussion and they won’t. Think about the brain. The brain is floating in fluid. If the skull stops, the brain is still moving, so the brain crashes against the skull. We have no way of stopping that by adding more padding.”