Premier League issue new rules on concussion, including a 'tunnel doctor' to assess replays
The new rules are similar to rugby but will incorporate video evidence to increase player safety.
JOE loved watching the World Cup, however, one of the things that we didn't like seeing was the lack of any clear guidelines regarding concussions.
Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira, Germany’s Christoph Kramer and Javier Mascherano all took blows to the head but were allowed to continue playing.
Kramer even went as far as saying that he was unable to recall anything from the actual final against Argentina.
You may also remember Tottenham ‘keeper Hugo Lloris being allowed to play on against Everton last season despite suffering a very serious blow to the head after colliding with Romelu Lukaku.
Given the recent revelations in the NFL this issue needed to be addressed and the Premier League have taken their first steps to doing so.
You can read the new rules in full here, but we've provided a quick summary below.
- A player who has suffered a head injury must first leave the pitch. The decision of whether he is fit to play on will be taken out of the manger’s hands and instead becomes the sole responsibility of the club doctor.
- Concussions or loss of consciousness doesn't need to be confirmed, but “any suspicion” of concussion will require the player to be substituted immediately.
- In addition to the club doctor, there will be a third party ‘tunnel doctor’ who will have access to TV replays if needed to spot visual clues to a loss of consciousness and to gauge the severity of collisions and injuries.
- For a player to be deemed fit to return to play, the League will first impose these five steps, each one taking a minimum of one day:
- 1) No activity, 2) Light aerobic exercise, 3) Sports specific exercise, 4) Non-contact sports drills, 5) Full contact practice , 6) Return to play.
- The assessment of the player will be ongoing throughout the above steps with a minimum recovery period of six days imposed from the time of the injury.
- A player who suffers two or more suspected concussions during a season must undergo “detailed neuro-psychological testing”.