Head injury rules planned for grassroots football

The Football Association plans to publish new rules on dealing with head injuries in grassroots football, according to a BBC report.

The new regulations are expected to be published in March, the BBC’s Inside Out East Midlands revealed this week.

The move follows a long-running campaign by the family of former West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle, who died in 2002, aged 59. A coroner ruled that Astle, famed for his heading ability, had suffered repeated concussions during his career.

Dave Reddin, head of performance services at the FA, said that the guidelines would be suitable for grassroots football.

“I’ve just reconstituted an expert panel who are going to advise us on the likely research that can take place and also help us review and update our concussion guidelines,” Reddin told the BBC.

“We’re still making sure that the grassroots guidelines are not just correct but also practical to implement at that level. We could have been faster but I think what’s important is that we get it right before they go out.”

The Premier League introduced new regulations on head injuries for its players in August, whilst the FA used England players to raise awareness of the dangers of concussion at the same time.

Chair of the FA’s medical committee, Dr Ian Beasley, told Club Website: “The way in which head injuries and suspected concussion should be treated is the same right through the game, from the elite level to the grassroots. All managers, players and clubs need to understand the risks.

“The message to everyone, from players to parents and coaches, is clear; seek and listen to medical advice and take no chances – if there is any suspicion that a player has suffered a concussion they must stop playing. Always obtain advice from medical professionals and follow their advice on recovery and return to play.”

This article appeared in The Clubhouse – the monthly newsletter from Club Website. To get the best grassroots news, offers and competitions straight to your inbox every month, sign up today!

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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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