The following table identifies what constitutes a “reportable” injury, who should report it and when...
|Any incident that results in a players loss of consciousness||The team coach MUST ensure a completed form is completed and forwarded to the NZRL||Any incident that results in a players loss of consciousness|
|Any head or neck injury that requires the player to be transported directly from the ground to an emergency department, hospital, or after-hours medical centre||BOTH the match referee and the team coach MUST complete and return a form to NZRL||Within 48 hours of the end of the match|
|Any injury that results in the admission of a player into hospital after a game||The team coach MUST ensure a completed form is completed and forwarded to the NZRL||Within 48 hours of the team injury official finding out that the player has been admitted to hospital|
|Any injury that is expected (doctor’s prognosis) to prevent the player from playing for a period of four weeks or longer||The team coach MUST ensure a completed form is completed and forwarded to the NZRL||Within 48 hours of the team official being notified of the doctor’s prognosis|
New Zealand Rugby League Concussion Policy Summary
The potential for concussions / head injuries to occur in rugby league is fully recognised. As a result of this recognition, due consideration should be undertaken by all who partake, administer or manage rugby league activities in both the training and match environments. There has long been a perception that a concussion occurs only when there is a loss of consciousness. This perception is incorrect as concussions can occur without loss of consciousness and range in severity from brief periods of confusion through to a significant loss of consciousness. The purpose of this policy is to ensure player safety and to reduce the risk of repeated concussion and second impact syndrome.
A concussion may be caused by a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or elsewhere on the body with an "impulsive" force transmitted to the head.
Assessment Of The Concussed Player:
When assessing an injured player on the sports field, it is important that a quick and accurate assessment is made. The appropriate questions and the signs and symptoms of concussion can be found in the sideline concussion check list provided by your local district, the NZRL or the ACC. All coaches, managers, trainers and referees should carry one of these.
Management Of A Concussion:
When a player shows any symptoms or signs of a concussion, the following should be applied:
(1) The player should not be allowed to return to play in the current game or practice.
(2) The player should not be left alone, and regular monitoring for deterioration is essential over the initial few hours after injury.
(3) The player should be medically evaluated after the injury.
(4) Return to play must follow a medically supervised stepwise process. A player should never return to play while symptomatic. "When in doubt, sit them out!" It is the policy of the New Zealand Rugby League that where a concussion is suspected a 21 day mandatory stand-down period is observed by the player concerned. Return to play shall follow the return to play guidelines detailed below. Return to play protocol from the internationally approved guidelines:
|Level||Activity Undertaken||Time Post-Concussion (approx)|
|1||No activity, complete rest. Once symptom free and cognitive recovery is demonstrated, proceed to level 2||2 - 3 days|
|2||Light aerobic exercise such as walking or stationary cycling||4 - 10 days|
|3||Sport specific training (e.g. running drills, ball handling skills)||11 - 15 days|
|4||Non-contact training drills||16 - 20 days|
|5||Full contact training after medical clearance||21 days|
|6||Game play||21+ days|