PFL Adopts New Concussion Protocols Tue, March 12, 2024 - 12:45 PM

As a community football league, the Perth Football League is determined to ensure a safe playing environment for all our members and are committed to be at the forefront of implementing measures that address the risks of concussion.

The PFL acknowledges and adopts the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) update to the concussion protocols, increasing the return to play period for a concussed player to a minimum of 21 days provided they get medical clearance.

This follows the WAFC and AFL announcements also adopting the recommendation by the ASC.

The PFL is committed to working with key stakeholders of the game to be able to manage the change in protocols prior to the season commencing. Clubs (and their trainers) will gain access to various educational tools that will help implement and comply with the new requirements.

Key features of the guidelines include:

Graduated Return-to-Play Protocol: Players are required to undergo a gradual return to physical activity following an initial period of relative rest lasting 24-48 hours.

Clearance Checkpoints: Before progressing through the return-to-play stages, players must pass several checkpoints to ensure their safety.

Gradual Reintroduction of Activities: Both physical and cognitive activities are gradually reintroduced over a period of time, with cognitive stimulation such as screen use and learning activities recommencing after 48 hours of rest.

Minimum Symptom-Free Period: Athletes must be symptom-free for at least 14 days at rest before resuming contact training. A temporary exacerbation of mild symptoms during exercise is acceptable as long as they quickly resolve afterward.

Extended Recovery Period: A minimum of 21 days post the concussion incident is mandated before players can resume competitive contact sports, ensuring thorough recovery and symptom resolution.

Holistic Assessment: Concussion recovery is assessed across various symptom domains, including physical, cognitive, emotional, fatigue, and sleep, to ensure comprehensive care.

Prioritization of Learning and Work Activities: Returning to learning and work activities takes precedence over resuming sports activities. Athletes must successfully complete a full return to learn/work activities before participating in full-contact sports.

The adoption of these protocols underscores the PFL's commitment to prioritising player welfare and safety. By aligning with national and state-level protocols, the league aims to provide a consistent and structured approach to concussion management, safeguarding the health of its athletes.

The Perth Football League will continue to work with all stakeholders, including coaches, players, and medical personnel, with the new protocols to ensure their effective implementation across the league.

Return to Play Protocols

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