A review of concussion diagnosis and management in Australian professional sporting codes Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives: The recognition and management of concussion has become a major health concern across all sports. Despite recent attention, concussion assessment and return-to-play protocols appear to be highly variable between leading professional sporting bodies across Australia. Without readily available guidelines, players at all levels may be at risk of suboptimal management following in-game trauma. The purpose of this study was to explore the publicly available concussion guidelines of the major Australian sporting codes with an aim to identify potential opportunities to develop a national sporting consensus.Methods: Internet sites of the major sporting organizations within Australia were accessed between June 2018 to July 2018. Sites were reviewed for information pertaining to an available concussion protocol or guidelines including; concussion definition, player education documentation, requirement of baseline testing, standard concussion diagnostic measures, use of sideline testing and removal from play guidelines, return-to-play, minimum return-to-play intervals and the implementation of external evaluation of potential concussion cases.Results: Twelve sites were visited. There was consensus between many of the sporting organizations in terms of concussion definition, removal of play and sideline testing protocols. A step-wise return-to-play protocol was prevalent across most sports. A number of sporting sites however did not have readily available information.Conclusions: There is notable room for the development of concussion guidelines in Australian sport. Researchers and sporting organizations need to continuously amend current protocols to ensure this reflects best evidence-based practice.


  • Gunasekaran, Premkumar
  • Hodge, Christopher
  • Pearce, Alan
  • King, Doug
  • Fraser, Clare

publication date

  • 2020