The long term effect of repetitive concussions has become an issue of concern for the Australian Football League (AFL). The AFL recently introduced new rules to protect the long-term health of players who sustain a head knock on the field.

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury. Though most people will recover fully, the accumulative effect of minor blows to the head can lead to long term impacts, including depression and behavioural change. In fact, it is thought that some suicides may be linked to the brain damage that results from multiple concussions.

The recent examination of deceased footballers has shown that some have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), attributed to the brain traumas they received through their playing careers. CTE can only be diagnosed after death, and many more post-mortal brain examinations are required to understand the extent of the problem.

The evidence of the long-term effects of head blows is mounting, and the AFL is compelled to take steps to reduce the trauma. From this season, any player who suffers a concussion must sit out the game for a minimum of 12 days, guaranteeing that they will miss the next game for the team. 

This updated concussion rule is one of the most stringent in Australian sport, and the AFL will need to remain committed in their actions to protect the safety of players at all levels of the game.

It's good to see major sports finally taking head injuries seriously. 
2021-02-17 14:18:14