Concussion is a brain injury that needs to be taken seriously to protect the long term welfare of all players.

Any player suspected of having sustained a concussion, should be removed immediately from the field and should not return to play on the same day.

Where a Team Doctor is present, he/she should advise the person in charge of the team i.e. the Team Manager, in this regard and the player must not be allowed to continue his participation in the game.

Concussion is an evolving injury therefore it is important to monitor the player after the injury for progressive deterioration.

Concussion diagnosis is a clinical judgement it is not for unqualified personnel to decide that a player does not have concussion.

Players suspected of having a concussion, must have adequate rest of at least 24 hours (adult) and longer for children and then must follow a Gradual Return to Play Protocol.

Players must receive medical clearance (by a doctor) before returning to play.

Signs and Symptoms

​Contrary to popular belief, most concussion injuries occur without a loss of consciousness and so it is important to recognise the other signs and symptoms of concussion. A symptom is something a player will feel whilst a sign is something a team-mate or coach will notice.

Return to Play Protocol

​The most important aspect of concussion management is physical and cognitive rest until the acute symptoms resolve and then a graded program of exertion prior to medical clearance and return to play (RTP).

  1. There should be an initial period of 24-48 hours rest for adult players post a concussive injury.
  2. ​There should be a two week rest period for players up to the age of 18
  3. ​RTP protocols following concussion follow a stepwise approach. With this stepwise progression, the players should continue to proceed to the next level if asymptomatic at the current level.
  4. Generally each step should take 24 hours so that the athlete would take approximately one week to proceed to full rehabilitation once they are asymptomatic at rest.
  5. If any post-concussion symptoms occur while in the RTP program, then the player should drop back to the previous asymptomatic level and try to progress again after a further 24 hours period of rest has passed.

Medical clearance (medical clearance refers to medical doctors) is required prior to return to full contact sports.

Concussion Poster, Concussion Guidance, Concussion Guidance for Referees, Concussion Guidance for Youth Players, Concussion Guidance for Adult Players, Concussion Guidance for Coaches