News on Concussion Guidelines for Grassroots Sport

“If in doubt, sit them out.”

New Concussion Guidance for Sports Clubs

The government has published a report detailing new guidance on concussion in sports at a grassroots level.

The report aims to help people identify and manage concussions in real time; the report should help sports clubs in prevent concussions affecting players.

Read the full report from the Sport and Recreation Alliance here

The new call to action for clubs is “If in doubt, sit them out.”

The new guidance makes clear that no-one should return to sport within 24 hours of a suspected concussion. It builds on guidance already introduced in Scotland, and follows the tagline: – If in doubt, sit them out.

The news was welcomed by ex-British and Irish player, Simon Shaw, who said to The Guardian “The guidelines give people more confidence to let kids play a lot of sports. – Is it going to alleviate people’s concerns about concussions? No. But it will mitigate some of them.”

The concussion guidance is for players of all ages. However its important the guidance does not take away from the overall health benefits brought by participating in sport.

What are the symptoms of comncussion?

Concussion can be brought on by:

  • head hitting another person
  • head hitting a piece of equipment or structure
  • head hitting the floor after a fall

The signs of concussion following a head impact can include:

  • delayed response time
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • loss of balance
  • disturbances with vision or light
  • nose bleads or ear bleeds
  • sudden deafness
  • vomiting
  • memory loss
  • unconsciousness

New guidance provided by the Government and the Sport and Recreation Alliance asks sports club operators to:

RECOGNISE the signs of concussion.

REMOVE anyone suspected of being concussed immediately and stop them continuing – sit them out.


RETURN safely to daily activity – sitting them out now allows them to return tomorrow to school, work or sport without worry.

How to treat concussion

  • sit them out, do not let them continue, no matter how much they may want to.
  • apply a cold compress.
  • avoid drinking alcohol.
  • take paracetamol if necessary, do not take ibuprofen or aspirin for head injuries.
  • Phone 999 if bleeding, unconsciousness or dizziness persists.

For more helpful advice for managing and running sports clubs, see Sports Club Insurance.

Club Insure is the leading insurance broker for sports club insurance, social club insurance, as well as a range of leisure and hospitality businesses. That’s why over 4,000 clients trust us to deliver tailored club cover.

It’s our mission to protect sports clubs, social clubs and community venues both now, and for the future.