The FA’s Concussion Guidelines have been updated as of August 2023 and supersedes previous versions.
It is envisaged that The FA’s concussion guidelines will be followed in the professional leagues and in circumstances where an appropriately trained healthcare professional, with a valid FA emergency pitch-side care qualification which includes concussion management training, is in place to perform an initial assessment of a suspected concussion and to supervise on-going further management, including the graduated return to play (GRTP). In circumstances where the additional pre-requisites for the enhanced care pathway are in place, the responsible healthcare professional may choose to follow the enhanced care pathway guidelines. In circumstances where no suitably trained healthcare professional with day to day responsibility is contracted to the player’s club, the UK Government’s Concussion Guidelines for Non-Elite (Grassroots) Sport should be followed.
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’.
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.
The UK Concussion Guidelines for Non-Elite (Grassroots) Sport can be viewed here.
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.
‘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.