Concussion Protocol for ALL Domestic Competition in Canada
Recognize and Remove
- Any athlete with a suspected concussion should be IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM PLAY, using appropriate emergency management procedures.
- Once safely removed from play, the injured player must not be returned to activity that day and until they are assessed medically.
- If there is a medically trained practitioner at the match as part of a team medical staff, or a match doctor, the decision to remove a player may be deferred to them.
- HOWEVER, the medically trained practitioner will need to make the decision to leave a player on or remove them much like they do with any other injury. There is no substitution allowed to temporarily rest a player suspected of having a concussion.
- The referee may at any time order a player off the field and replaced if they deem that player to be suspected of a concussion, even if this is contrary to the advice by the medically trained practitioner.
***Please note that a medically trained practitioner refers to a team or club doctor, athletic therapist, or pitch-side medical staff. They are all encouraged to take the online concussion management modules at the World Rugby site.
Graduated Return to Play
- A minimum complete rest period of 24 hours is recommended for adults but a longer “complete rest period” is recommended in children and adolescents.
- Rest from playing or contact training is recommended for a minimum of 2 weeks following cessation of symptoms in children and adolescents.
- A Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) must be completed:
- For ALL players diagnosed with a concussion.
- For ALL players even suspected of having concussion during a game or training at which there is no appropriately qualified person present.
Contrary to belief, there is no “concussion bin” or any form of replacement or substitution for any player suspected of having a concussion – the Head Injury Assessment Protocol is only to be conducted at the international level of the game by World Rugby trained medical practitioners.
As soon as any domestic player is suspected of having a concussion, they are to be removed from the game and all competition that day and are only to return to play after following the Graduated Return to Play Protocol.