April 2nd, 2011 at 02:46am
Good morning John,
John, who called earlier, was asking about concussions and which sport stands players down the next week if they're concussed. I'm not sure about Rugby, which he was talking about, but the AFL have introduced a rule this year where if a player receives a concussion on the field, they are not allowed back on the field that day. They don't stop the players from returning the following week if they doctors think they're fit to play, but they are absolutely not allowed back on that day.
So far this year this has caused two players to be sidelined for the remainder of the match. Geelong's Joel Selwood last week who was knocked out and had to be taken to hospital, and Richmond's Jack Riewoldt last night who landed very hard on the ground and received medical attention in the dressing rooms for some time. He didn't have to go to hospital, but he was concussed so the doctors kept him off the field and the team played their substitute player.
Personally I think it's a good rule. Concussions can be tricky things to deal with and the extent of them isn't necessarily known for a while, so whenever there's a head injury it's better to be safe than sorry and keep the player confined for a while, both for the player's health's sake, and the team's sake, because I don't think that any player, no matter how good they are, is going to make sensible judgements and play to their full potential while they're concussed.
All the best!
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