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Insights

NRL to keep some concussion breaches secret

Last year the NRL issued fines to three clubs because they failed to observe the proper procedures when players suffered serious head collisions.  The NRL has asked clubs about incidents where players have exhibited signs of concussion but have returned to the field of play. These inquiries are not made public.

It is up to the NRL to decide which incidents are to be made public.  The AFL has stated that any breach (including those that attract fines over $2,000) by a club will be made public. 

The Australian Medical Association (“AMA”) disagrees with the NRL position.  AMA professor Brad Frankum has said that breaches to concussion procedures should be available for public scrutiny to increase pressure on clubs to properly manage their players.  He notes that team doctors have a duty of care, and must not make clinical decision with any form of internal pressure.

The NRL and AFL head injury policy statements are online. Read more about concussion in sport from the AMA and Australian Institute of Sport here.