Concussion is a relatively common injury in football – and potentially one of the most dangerous.

That’s why, everyone who takes part in football needs to be up to speed with four things:

What concussion is
How you recognise it
What to do if a player is concussed
How to manage a player’s return to training/playing

You should read more about all these aspects in England Football's comprehensive guidelines here. In addition, we strongly recommend you spend 20 minutes taking the online free concussion guidelines course provided by England Football Learning, the education arm of England Football. You can access it by clicking here.

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Concussion - What You Need To Know


What Is Concussion?

Learn more about concussion and how to spot the signs.

England Football recommend that everyone involved in football should be aware of the risks concussion injuries pose to players. People involved in football should read the comprehensive guidelines and take the free online course provided through England Football Learning.

Here's a quick guide to get you started:

Concussion is an injury to the brain resulting in a disturbance of brain function. It can be caused by a direct blow to the head or another part of the body which causes a rapid head movement (e.g. whiplash injuries).

You can recognise concussion by visible signs such as a player looking dazed, being unsteady on their feet or being confused. In some cases, a player will lose consciousness and may have a seizure. The player themselves may complain of a headache, dizziness, pressure in their head or sensitivity to light.

These are just some of the symptoms.

If a player has a suspected concussion or if you’re unsure, you should immediately take them out of training or playing and check they are okay. If you suspect a neck injury or the player is becoming drowsy, has double vision, is vomiting or has tingling/burning in the arms or leg, take them immediately to the nearest hospital A&E department.

Before returning to training/playing after a concussion, every player should go through a period of rest, followed by a six-step graduated return to play. You can read about these six steps in England Football’s concussion guidelines. At the end of these steps, a healthcare professional should clear the player to train/play. For adult players, the graduated return to play steps will take at least 19 days. For children (under 18) it’s a minimum of 23 days.