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Football & Netball Concussion Protocols (Updated March 2024)

In March 2024 the AFL announced the new 2024 AFL Concussion Protocols via media release.


AFL Barwon shared the updates with all Clubs, Leagues and affiliated stakeholders. confirming several signficant changes including: 


  • All Australian rules football competitions at all ages (i.e. adult/open competitions and all junior competitions outside AFL/AFLW), will adopt a mandatory minimum 21-day return to play protocol. This new protocol will apply for State Football competitions (including the VFL and VFLW), elite pathway competitions (including the Coates Talent League for boys and girls) and all community football competitions; and


  • Under the new community guidelines, the earliest that a player can return to play after a concussion is on the 21st day after the day on which the concussion was sustained and provided that the player has safely progressed through each phase of the return-to-play program. 


In-line with this announcement, AFL Barwon has adopted the below:


  1. The 2024 AFL Concussion Protocols for all AFL Barwon and affiliated Australian rules football competitions at all ages; and

  2. Has also adopted this policy for all AFL Barwon and affiliated Netball competitions at all ages.


This adoption extends to practice matches, interleague and other games of any kind, of Australian Rules Football and Netball, in all forms.


The below resources have been provided, to further support Concussion management at a community sport level please see attached:


  • The Management of Sport-Related Concussion in Australian Football (March 2024); and

  • Memo summarising the substantive amendments to the Guidelines for 2024

  • AFL Concussion Portal contains extensive information and links to concussion management resources for all levels of the game. 


We hope this correspondence provides a clear update for all of our players, families, volunteers, officials and stakeholders, within the AFL Barwon region, following the release of the 2024 AFL Concussion Protocols. 

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