AFL Barwon ratifies changes to concussion protocols

April 6, 2024 BY

Regional general manager Ed Wilson and AFL Barwon have confirmed changes to its return to play protocols for concussion. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

LOCAL football concussion protocols have been confirmed for this season and onwards across the Barwon region.

AFL Barwon has announced it will adhere to the AFL’s ruling on return to play guidelines and will enforce a three-week minimum for concussed players before they can return to local football and netball.

The local sports governing body has revealed significant details within the 2024 AFL Concussion Protocols include all Australian rules football competitions at all ages (i.e. adult/open competitions and all junior competitions outside AFL/AFLW), will adopt a mandatory minimum 21-day return to play protocol.

This new protocol will apply for state football competitions (including the VFL and VFLW), elite pathway competitions (including the Coates Talent League for boys and girls) and all community football competitions.

Under the new community guidelines, the earliest that a player can return to play after a concussion is on the 21st day after the day on which the concussion was sustained, provided that the player has safely progressed through each phase of the return-to-play program.

The updated protocols extends to Australian Rules football in all forms, including all practice matches and interleague games.

“In-line with AFL Barwon’s 2024-2026 Strategic Plan, to be community sport leaders in the safe and sustainable delivery of football and netball, we will continue work regionally on further resourcing and support for all affiliated clubs, competitions and leagues,” AFL Barwon stated.

“Clubs, stakeholders and community members alike are encouraged to contact AFL Barwon if they require further detail or clarification on these guidelines.”

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