Concussion in sport has to be taken seriously and the welfare of athletes and players put at the forefront of decision making. We have highlighted the evidence and helped create a narrative of safety and precaution. It has not always been popular!
So we are delighted in 2023 that the Government and others have responded and created guidelines across the sector!
However, it does not mean we are complacent and we will continue to apply pressure to sports bodies to do more. We are aware of ongoing legal action so the chapter is not closed on the issue despite these guidelines.
There have been a wide range of champions over the years and other campaign groups.
Here are some useful links.
Progressive Rugby - a Non-profit player welfare lobby group.
Love of the Game - Lobby Group fronted by Laurence Geller and Simon Shaw.
The official Guidelines from DCMS and SRA
Participants in grassroots sports will be better protected from the potentially devastating effects of head injuries and concussion thanks to new official guidelines advising: 'if in doubt, sit them out'.
- First ever UK-wide concussion guidance published to help people identify, manage and prevent concussion affecting players in grassroots sport
- 'If in doubt, sit them out' becomes new call-to-action for all players, coaches, parents, schools and National Governing Bodies and sports administrators
- Guidance, developed by clinicians, academics and sports governing bodies, forms part of Government's Action Plan on Concussion designed for all grassroots sport
The Government and the Sport and Recreation Alliance today publishes the first UK-wide Concussion Guidelines for Grassroots Sport which will help players, coaches, parents, schools, National Governing Bodies and sports administrators to identify, manage and prevent the issue.
If in doubt, sit them out' is the strapline, making clear no-one should return to sport within 24 hours of a suspected concussion and builds on guidance already introduced in Scotland.
Players, parents, coaches, teachers and administrators are now asked to read the guidance and familiarise themselves with the necessary steps to:
- RECOGNISE the signs of concussion;
- REMOVE anyone suspected of being concussed immediately and;
- RETURN safely to daily activity, education/work and, ultimately, sport.
The guidelines include a recommendation to call NHS 111 within 24 hours of a potential concussion, to rest and sleep as much as needed for the first 24 to 48 hours and avoid using devices which involve screen time.
In addition, a graduated return to activity such as work, education and sport is advised to reduce the risks of slow recovery, further brain injury and longer-term problems. Individuals should be assessed by an appropriate healthcare professional if symptoms persist for more than four weeks.
The guidelines, developed by an expert panel of domestic and international clinicians and academics in neurology and sports medicine, sets out steps to improve understanding and awareness of the prevention and treatment of concussion in grassroots sport where trained medical professionals are less likely to be routinely present. It is targeted at people of all ages.