Concussion Protocol – Changes to Graduated Return to Play

New Zealand Rugby have updated their concussion guidelines for community rugby for the 2018 season.  Click here to download the 2018 NZ Rugby GRTP Concussion Protocol.

What’s changed?

  • The recommended period of complete rest following a concussion has been reduced from 14 days to two days.
  • This means players suffering concussion may return to light exercises such as walking, jogging or stationery cycling 48 hours after injury.

What hasn’t changed?

  • Any player suffering a suspected concussion should be assessed by and follow the advice of a medical doctor.
  • Any player suffering a concussion should rest physically and mentally for a minimum period of 48 hours.
  • Any player suffering a concussion should avoid moderate physical activity for a minimum period of 14 days.
  • Players suffering a concussion should receive a medical clearance from their GP before returning to play.
  • The graduated return for players suffering concussion remains at 23 days for players under 19 years of age and 21 days for players 19 years and older.

* The above changes have been informed by evidence presented to the 2016 International Conference on Concussion in Sport and the consensus statement produced following this conference.

Information in New Zealand Rugby education materials (including RugbySmart) has been adjusted to reflect this change.