Bold move set to result in better diagnoses of head injuries.
Finally a governing body in Australia has taken the initiative to try and stamp out potentially life altering head injuries.
The AFL is set to hand down its plan for concussion substitutes to be used during the 2013 season which would allow team’s medical staff to better diagnose the potential severity of head knocks to players.
While players have simply not been left to their own devices when they have been knocked into next week in past seasons.
The difference comes in a coaches ability to call upon a fresh players to ensure his side does not conceded a disadvantage while the concussed player receives treatment.
It’s brilliance is in its simplicity.
Most major contact sports around the world have their own methods of ascertaining the seriousness of concussion, however, some have been dramatically left behind.
The NFL, which has seen ex-players be stricken with serious neurological conditions, only implemented a plan league-wide plan in 2007 with baseline testing being introduced a year later.
However, another alteration to the rules for the upcoming AFL season could go dangerously hand in hand with the new concussion sub.
The powers that be has signalled they will begin cracking down on players sliding into contests in a bid to cut down on the serious knee and ankle injuries along with broken legs.
Team captains this week have spoken out against the move saying it will cause them to alter the way they play too much, adding they have slid to contest the ball since they children.
But if players cannot use their whole body to try and secure possession, then they must simply put their head over the ball, greatly risking the likelihood of sickening head collisions.
AFL laws of the game committee member Kevin Bartlett has acknowledged the change in rules regarding sliding might take some getting used to, adding players will need to learn how to use their hip or shoulder to gain a physical advantage.
For some players, who’s playing styles are less adaptable, that’s like trying to reinvent the wheel.
The AFL has to be commended for taking a strong stand on protecting its players as much as humanly possible in a physical game.
However, time will only be able to tell us if the two positives together turn into a negative as players are driven to a different, and ultimately, more dangerous playing style.