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Eastern Cricket Association cricketer being struck on the helmet from a short pitched ball

Concussion and Head Trauma - Community Cricket Guidelines

Here is an important update about concussion and head trauma from Cricket Australia 

In September 2023, a Senate committee made 13 recommendations following an inquiry into concussions and repeated head trauma in sport. Cricket Australia along with many other major sports participated in the inquiry, alongside medical professionals and advocacy groups. The recommendations extend from increased funding into research on the impact of concussion and repeated head trauma as a result of participation in sport, greater capture of data and insights surrounding concussive and sub-concussive events, rule changes and modifications to lower the risk of concussion and repeated head trauma, through to the development of return to play protocols for adults and children in elite and community sport.

Cricket Australia had last reviewed and released it’s guidelines for Concussion & Head Trauma in Community Cricket in 2018, strongly recommending that all community competitions and clubs implement the guidelines, ensuring a conservative approach to managing concussion in community-level participants. Whilst cricket does not face the same level of head and neck impacts per match that collision sports do, there are still risks faced in our sport as shown in evidence and data collected since the 2018/19 season with elite cricketers. Males received one head impact per 1200 balls bowled, and females receiving one head impact per 2000 balls bowled.

Strengthening the guidelines based on the evidence available is the right thing to do. The guidelines now recommend the following changes:

  • Increasing the minimum Return to Play (RTP) time for adults and children
  • Minimum RTP of 13 days post concussive incident for adults (19 years and above)
  • Minimum RTP of 14 days (once symptoms have cleared) for children (18 years and below)
  • That anyone following the RTP protocol must receive a clearance from a medical professional before returning to play

Cricket Australia encourages all competitions, clubs, players and umpires to wear appropriate protective equipment whilst training and playing cricket. Specifically, the wearing of well fitted and appropriate helmets and neck protectors that meet the required standard of manufacture and performance. Cricket Australia also encourages those who wear them to follow the manufacturer’s guidance as it relates to replacing them when struck.

Cricket Australia will continue to provide a range of resources and education for administrators, coaches and participants to ensure understanding of the guidelines and implementation. Please continue to visitwww.play.cricket.com.au/community/clubs for more information.

Whilst acknowledging for most we are midway through a season, Cricket Australia and our State & Territory Cricket Associations strongly recommend the adoption and implementation of these updated guidelines.

Thank you for your support and ongoing commitment to community cricket in Australia.

Kind regards,

James Allsopp
Executive General Manager, Community Cricket, Capability & Infrastructure
Cricket Australia