Australian Football League Takes Conservative Approach to Concussions

A recent story in the Australian newspaper AdelaideNow compared the Australian Football League to American football for the purposes of concussion management

“The numbers in college football (in the US) of a footballer taking 600 hits to the head are not relevant in the AFL where a footballer would have two-to-three hits to the head, if he was unlucky,” said Adelaide Football Club team doctor Andrew Potter, who is the new chief of the Australian Football League Membership Association.

Potter is worried that, despite these low numbers in his league, junior footballers in the country will rush to buy helmets, which he believes will not save players from concussion. “In some cases, hits to heads encased in helmets could bring on more serious cases of concussion.”

Until that day comes, Potter says the AFL will maintain a conservative approach. “One new rule with AFL players suffering concussion – they are not to play if there is the slightest doubt about their recovery. The player’s welfare stands as more important than a quick return to footy.”

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