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Shane Tuck (Wikimedia Commons/PD)

In late March, the Victorian State Coroner's office, after an inquest concerning the death of former player Shane Tuck, made recommendations for the health and safety of players, mainly with regard to concussion protocols The AFL replied in an official statement and will implement the recommendations as part of the ongoing process of the prevention and management of concussion and other head trauma in Australian Football. (Ed. note: left unsaid is that the AFL, like many professional sports leagues, would really rather not talk about the long-term health effects of the sport or the numerous results of post-mortem exams which show even players from recent decades with significant long term brain damage.)

The recommendations are:

  • Spotters have the authority to remove any AFL or AFLW player suspected of suffering a concussion from the field for a thorough medical assessment.
  • Further limitation to contact training. Currently, any player in recovery has limited contact training. The league is considering further limitation and will include on-going collection, compilation, and review of training data and obtaining input from the AFLPA (AFL Players Association), the AFLCA (AFL Coaches Association), and the clubs.
  • The appointment of independent doctors to attend all AFL and AFLW games to assist club doctors in the assessment of injured players. The AFL has said it is currently in discussions with contact sports globally and considering other matters to identify best practice for the role to be played by an independent doctor in collaboration with club doctors. (Ed. note: In other words, we're seeking cover by responding in kind with the AFL, EPL, IOC, etc.)

The AFL will also implement the coroner's recommendations regarding concussion education, noting that they "continue to work with the AFLPA to further develop and review educational material to improve the education of players and team staff". They also stated that they continue to review, develop, update, disseminate, and make available various, and "easy to understand, educational materials and other information" for everyone involved at all levels of the game. This also reportedly includes continued investigation into ways all the information can best be made available to the football community.

AFL General Counsel Stephen Meade said, “The AFL continues to invest in, and support, research into concussion and repeated head trauma, including supporting the use of instrumented mouthguards by players, encouraging brain donation, and investing in the AFL Brain Health Initiative longitudinal research program. On behalf of the AFL, we reiterate our deepest sympathies to the Tuck family on Shane’s untimely passing in 2020 and their immense contribution to research into concussion and head trauma in Australian Football.”

Source: Jay Allen, AFL Media Release

Article last changed on Saturday, March 30, 2024 - 8:10 AM EDT


Posted by Allenwood on April 03, 2024

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