Club Concussion Policy

Management of Concussion - Football and Netball

  • Apply first -aid principles to any unconscious player (Airway, Breathing, Circulation ….. ), including attention to the spine.
  • Any player suspected of being affected by any of the following symptoms must be removed from the field for further evaluation on the sideline:
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Confusion or feeling dazed
    • Memory disturbance
    • Persistent/increasing headache
    • Visual changes: Blurred or double vision
    • Balance problem
    • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Under 18 Football and Under 19 Netball and below – If any of the above symptoms occur in U 18 / U 19 or a lesser division, then the player should be referred to hospital. These players are not to return to the field.
  • Attend to any immediate first aid issue
  • If any of the above occur in a Senior/Reserves football or A-D Grade netball game, the player is not to return to the field during the game unless they are assessed and pass the Sideline Cognitive Assessment Test ( Modified SCAT ) and there are no features of concussion.
  • If there are definite signs/symptoms of concussion then, monitor and regularly assess the player for deterioration ( may signify a structural head injury that requires urgent hospitalisation.

Indications for immediate referral to hospital

  • LOC > 1 min or prolonged confusion
  • Increasing drowsiness/deterioration of conscious state
  • Focal neurological signs …… arm/leg weakness, unbalanced.
  • Persistent vomiting or increasing headache.
  • Seizure
  • Unusual behaviour
  • If the player is discharged home, then clear and concise instructions regarding regular assessment after the game, abstinence from alcohol/driving, medication use, physical exertion and when a medical follow up is required.
  • Any player who has suffered a concussive injury must be referred for medical evaluation and clearance before being allowed to return to training or playing.

The following guidelines are to be adopted for players who have not been allowed to return to the field.

  • Senior football/ A to D Grade netball will be required to cease training/play for one week.
  • U 18 football/U 19 netball or lesser division or age group players we also will also be required to cease training/play for one week with a gradual return to activity the following week.

Simple/mild concussion

Where there has been a resolution of symptoms, there may be a graduated return to activity.

  • Stationary bike
  • Light running
  • Non-contact training drills
  • Full contact training
  • Game play

If relevant symptoms recur at any stage during rehabilitation, then the player will be required to undergo re-evaluation by their treating doctor.

Complex/Severe Concussion

Severe and persistent symptoms may occur if there have been multiple concussions over time.

  • Requires regular medical assessment and usually the player does not train/play for several weeks.

The G.A.F & N.C. and its medical personnel reserve the right in ALL cases to request a player, having sustained a concussive injury to undergo an independent medical assessment and ‘SCAT’ test conducted by a medical practitioner with experience in concussive injuries prior to returning to training or play.

Accordion content

Any player wishing to be considered for selection in the week following a concussive injury MUST:

  • Undergo a medical assessment and ‘SCAT’ test performed by a medical practitioner with experience in concussive injuries.
  • Produce a satisfactory written medical clearance/report prior to the Wednesday night of that week to the club medical personnel.
  • Indemnify the G.A.F. & N. C. by signing a players ‘Advice Sheet’ acknowledging that they are aware of the risks of returning to play and/ or training earlier than is set out in the Club guidelines. This form is to be signed by the relevant coach of that particular team.
  • The G.A.F. & N.C. Concussion Policy has been generated in order to protect the well being of all players , both football and netball, and, ultimately, the G.A.F. & N. C.
  • The G.A.F. & N. C. Concussion Policy requires the unreserved support of the Coaching Panels, Team Managements, G.A.F. & N. C. Executive Group, Players, Parents, and Club Supporters if the Policy is to be effective.
  • The Coaches and Training Staff are to be supported in relation to any decision regarding the welfare of any player.
  • All concussed players are required to have:
  • A Head Injury Notification sheet completed by the Team Manager, Coach or Trainer.
  • A certificate from a relevant Medical Practitioner indicating the player is “fit to resume training and playing”

No certificate = No train/play

Ratified by the Club Committee – 14th July, 2009