The AFL has introduced new concussion protocols

In a move welcomed by experts in the field, the AFL has introduced a new rule for players who have suffered a concussion: they will be sidelined for twelve days.

The AFL has announced that players who have suffered a concussion won’t be able to compete for twelve days afterwards, effectively ruling them out of the next round of matches. This is an extension from the current standard of six days.

The conversation around concussion has risen to the fore in recent years in contact sports. Growing awareness of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), especially among former players who have died prematurely.

AFLW concussion

The new protocols will also apply to the AFLW which will have its opening round of the season this weekend.

Shane Tuck, a former player, died last year at the age of 38. The shock of his premature death was recently compounded by a critical finding in his autopsy: CTE, which can result in a range of mental health issues.

Dr Alan Pearce, who recently conducted a landmark study on the effects of concussion on former NRL players, told the ABC, “I think it’s a really positive step towards taking the injury seriously and making sure players are fully recovered before they go back to competition.