AFL Masters takes head knocks and concussion seriously and we will always attempt to follow best practices in this area, as outlined by the AFL and referenced in the attached documents. These policies and protocols shall be followed at all times, as the safety and welfare of all participants is a priority.
Read the Management of Sport-Related Concussion in Australian Football
Read the Management of Sport-Related Concussion in Australian Football FAQs
Read the Return to Play Following Concussion Checklist
Read the Return to Play Medical Clearance Form
The AFL-approved guidelines for the management of sport-related concussion in Australian Football provide guidance on the best way to assess and manage concussion amongst players at all levels below the AFL / AFLW competitions.
If the law is not listed or referenced here, the AFL Law applies.
The guidelines have been developed to assist community football leagues, clubs, players, parents, coaches, trainers & other stakeholders on how to assess and manage any player who has suffered concussion or is suspected of having a concussion. The most important steps in initial management include:
|Recognising a suspected concussion.|
|Removing the player from the match or training.|
|Referring the player to a medical doctor for assessment.|
|Where there is no medical doctor present to assess the player, or the diagnosis of concussion cannot be ruled out at the time of injury, the player must not be allowed to return to play in the same match / training session.|
Important steps for return to play following concussion include:
|A brief period of complete physical and cognitive rest (24-48 hours).|
|A period of symptom-limited activity (e.g., reading, walking) to allow full recovery.|
|A graded loading program (with monitoring).|
|Clearance by a medical doctor (prior to returning to competitive contact sport / full contact training sessions).|
Players should not enter the graded loading program until they have recovered from their concussion. Recovery means that all concussion-related symptoms and signs have fully resolved (for at least 24 hours) at rest and with activities of daily living, and they have successfully returned to work or school, without restrictions.
The earliest that a player may return to play (once they have successfully completed a graded loading program and they have obtained medical clearance) is on the 12th day following the concussion.
The AFL-approved concussion management app HeadCheck (www.headcheck.com.au) should be utilised to recognise and assist in the management of any suspected concussion for both adults and children.