UK Concussion Guidelines for Grassroots Sport

‘IF IN DOUBT, SIT THEM OUT’: Concussion Guidelines for Non-Elite (Grassroots) Sport

The Government and the Sport and Recreation Alliance have published the UK Concussion Guidelines for Grassroots Sport to help players, coaches, parents, schools, National Governing Bodies and sports administrators to identify, manage and prevent the issue for non-elite players.

The guidelines, developed by an expert panel of domestic and international clinicians and academics in neurology and sports medicine, sets out steps to improve understanding and awareness of the prevention and treatment of concussion in grassroots sport where trained medical professionals are less likely to be routinely present. It is targeted at people of all ages.

Players, parents, coaches, teachers and administrators are now asked to read the guidance and familiarise themselves with the necessary steps to:

  • RECOGNISE the signs of concussion;
  • REMOVE anyone suspected of being concussed immediately and;
  • RETURN safely to daily activity, education/work and, ultimately, sport.

The guidelines include a recommendation to call NHS 111 within 24 hours of a potential concussion, to rest and sleep as much as needed for the first 24 to 48 hours and avoid using devices which involve screen time.

In addition, a graduated return to activity such as work, education and sport is advised to reduce the risks of slow recovery, further brain injury and longer-term problems. Individuals should be assessed by an appropriate healthcare professional if symptoms persist for more than four weeks.

Development of the guidelines has been led by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Professor James Calder, chair of the expert drafting group, and Laurence Geller, the Government’s Adviser on Concussion in Sport. The expert drafting group drew upon existing field research, with the aim of producing a consistent and preventative approach across all sports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It builds upon the world-leading work conducted in Scotland which was the first nation in the world to produce guidelines covering all types and levels of sport. Its guidance was updated in March 2021.

Read the full guidance here – UK Concussion Guidelines for Grassroots Sport