Latest News

National Community Guidelines for Concussion releasedTuesday, April 27, 2021 - 10:36 AM

The AFL and WAFC have today released the National Concussion Guidelines for Australian Football at all levels of Community Football, coming into effect for fixtures this weekend.
The updated guidelines follow the recent changes to the concussion protocols at both an AFL and AFLW level, focusing on a clear process to be followed for players that have suffered concussion and returning to play.
The community guidelines continue to reflect the latest medical advice on managing concussion in Australian Football and are principally about protecting the health and safety of all players. All community football leagues within Western Australia will be required to comply with the guidelines regarding the management of concussion.
The key differences from the previous guidelines to manage concussion in Australian Football include:

  • Greater detail around the process to return to play following a concussion including allowing a brief period of complete rest, returning to symptom limited activity, returning to a graded loading program (with monitoring) and getting a medical clearance prior to returning to competitive contact sport or full-contact training.
  • The need for a more conservative approach in children and adolescents given they typically recover slower.
  • The minimum timeframe in which a player can return to play is twelve days from the day a concussion was suffered, subject to successfully completing a graded loading program and obtaining medical clearance.
  • It is clear that medical professionals will ultimately determine when a player is ready to return to full-contact training and playing.

The WAFC and the AFL will liaise with all leagues and clubs to support the implementation of the guidelines. It is important that leagues and clubs also work to educate their players, parents, coaches, trainers and others involved in community football about the importance of following the guidelines.
Over the coming weeks, the AFL & WAFC will share a range of additional resources to help raise awareness and support the education of all stakeholders across community football.
WAFC Executive Manager of Junior, Youth & Community, Troy Kirkham, saidThe updated concussion guidelines provide a clear graded return process for players suffering a concussion, and reflect best practice management of sport related concussions”.
“Concussion in sport continues to be a serious issue, and it is important that all clubs, leagues and players follow the concussion guidelines, and ensure that the safety and wellbeing of all players remains a priority.
“When it comes to a suspected concussion, it is appropriate to take a conservative approach. A player must receive a medical clearance from a medical professional prior to a return to full contact training and games.”
“Our priority is the health and wellbeing of all community footballers and we will continue to be guided by the best medical advice and professionals in dealing with concussion across the state.”

The AFL-approved concussion management app HeadCheck ( should
be utilised to recognise and assist in the management of any suspected concussion for both adults and children.
The full document, 'The Management of Sport-Related Concussion in Australian Football', is
available here.