AFL warned concussion rule could be misused
T H E A F L ’ s c o n c u s s i o n crackdown could prompt c l u b s t o d e l i b e r a t e l y misdiagnose players or force others out of action unnecessarily, the league has been warned.
Mirroring widespread discontent with the planned new interchange rules, yesterday’s AFL announcement that concussed players will be banned from returning to the field was mostly poorly received.
Carlton captain Chris Judd said the stricter policy – released two days before the season-opener – might cause clubs to avoid diagnosing the condition, rather than lose a player.
‘‘ You’ll just never get anyone concussed anymore,’’ Judd said.
The reigning Brownlow Medallist said the crackdown could compound the difficulty clubs faced managing the reduction from four interchange players to three plus a substitute.
‘‘ The risk is that if clubs use that sub too early and then get some injuries they may be tempted or forced to put injured players back out on the field,’’ he said. ‘‘ I think that would be a concern.’’