Presentation and mechanisms of concussion in professional Rugby League Football

J Sci Med Sport. 2004 Sep;7(3):400-4. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(04)80035-5.


The present study prospectively recorded the circumstances, incidence, mechanisms, injury detection and presentation of concussion in Rugby League. Forty-three consecutive concussions were recorded over three competitive seasons in 175 professional Rugby League players. Data showed (i) the incidence of concussion ranged from 5.9 to 9.8 injuries/1000 player hours across grades - except when age-group players were mismatched (18.4): (ii) 'head-high tackles' accounted for a significant number of concussions; (iii) concussion rarely involved a loss of consciousness with the most common indicators of concussion being amnesia, headache and unsteadiness, with the mechanism of injury often missed: and (iv) concussion often occurs concurrently with other injuries. Concussion (including repeated episodes) is a common injury in Rugby League. Systematic mental status questioning is warranted whenever concussion is suspected. Coaches, trainers and players need more education in the recognition and management of concussion. Stricter penalties for illegal 'head-high' tackling are strongly recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amnesia / etiology
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology*
  • Brain Concussion / etiology
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Football / injuries*
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Prospective Studies