POLL: Concussion protocol changes state of play on the football field

RUBGY League clubs risk being penalised if they allow concussed players on the field, according to new NRL protocol.

Sports Medicine Australia is urging all rural football clubs to ensure their trainers have the proper knowledge necessary to deal with concussion as a result.

The new protocol ensures players are removed from the field of play, to be assessed properly and thoroughly.

Concussed players are not allowed back on the field of play. 

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) follows a similar plan, and both organisations now guidelines for players recovery as well.

“Any player displaying signs of concussion should receive an urgent medical assessment and should in no circumstances return to play or train until formal medical clearance has been provided,” an SMA spokesperson said.

“We urge [rural] coaches and trainers to exercise extreme caution where head injuries are concerned. If there’s any doubt, sit them out. 

Group 10 president Linore Zamparini, along with Central West Rugby Union CEO Peter Veenstra stressed the importance of proper concussion management.

“We need trained professionals, it’s hard in the more remote places though, so every referee and coach must be Smart Rugby accredited to make sure at every game people know how to handle it,” Mr Veenstra said.

“Our Country Rugby League protocol may a bit stricter than the NRL, due to us not having as many doctors out in the bush. Generally though, the rule has always been if you get knocked out, the sit out the next week,” Mr Zamparini added.

How the rugby codes have reacted to concussion

National Rugby League:

1. Without trained professionals, concussion is assumed and the player is removed from the field of play, and cannot return.

2. With trained professionals, players are assessed for visible signs of concussion. If a player exhibits any of these signs he must be removed from the field of play.

3. Players will undergo a sideline concussion assessment, checking visible and suspected concussion symptoms and memory function, within 15 minutes. If they pass, they may return to the field of play. 

4. If diagnosed with concussion, they must not return to the field of play and must undergo recovery and rehabilitation plans.

Australian Rugby Union:

1. Without trained professionals, concussion is assumed and the player is removed from the field of play, and cannot return.

2. With trained professionals, players are assessed in visible and suspected concussion symptoms and memory function. If players pass, they may return to the field of play.

3. If a player is diagnosed with concussion, they must complete graduated return-to-play rehabilitation protocol - no activity, light activity, rugby-based activity, non-contact, full-contact, return to play - without symptoms before they will be cleared to play again.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop