Return to Play - Role of the Sports Trainer /
The requirements for Medical Clearances should not be seen as being onerous or as being overly officious by the sports trainer. It is a requirement that players seek professional medical attention for conditions that may cause them further serious health problems in the future.
What is a Medical Clearance?
A Medical Clearance is a letter or form completed by the Player's treating physician stating the person is medically fit to participate in Rugby League.
Read on below for answers on who needs a Medical Clearance and the role of Sports Trainer in the Return to Play process.
How do I know who needs a Medical Clearance and what to do?
Generally, a Medical Clearance is required where a player has missed games and training for longer than one week (7 days) due to a medical circumstance/condition affecting their ability to play.
The following resources will support you in your role as a Sports Trainer to understand protocol and best practice for players returning to the field:
- Policies and Guidelines, including Return to Play Policy will provide an understanding of the types of conditions requiring a Medical Clearance.
- Discuss the Medical Clearance process with your Club/Association to understand local requirements, relevant timeframes, and discover your main point of contact at your Club.
- Sports Trainer Documents provides access to protocol and medical form information.
Concussion Management Resources for a better understanding of concussion management
- A player who is removed from play with a suspected concussion MUST NOT return to play until formally cleared by a doctor.
What is the process for Return to Play after a concussion?
Concussion is an evolving condition and complications can occur if a player continues playing before they have fully recovered, and their Club must ensure the player does not participate in any form of training or match until sufficiently cleared by a medical professional.
- Utilise the NRL's Concussion Management Resources for more information and access to the below mentioned forms required by the Player for their Return to Play.
- Ensure the Player (or their Parent/Guardian/Carer) receives a copy of the completed Medical Clearance Form / HIA Form from MySideline Manager to take to their doctor after the incident. The Head Injury Recognition and Referral Form is also acceptable if completed as a paper copy.
- Returning after a concussion varies from person to person so it is important for the Player to follow advice from their GP before starting a Graduated Return To Sport (GRTS) program.
- You will need to receive an NRL Community Head Injury/Concussion Medical Clearance completed by the Player's doctor before they can start full contact training. This page is also available as part of the Medical Clearance Form / HIA Form from MySideline Manager.
REMEMBER - a player will be made unavailable in their online squad in MySideline following a reported concussion. This status can only be removed by your local Association - make sure to understand local rules for the Player to be made available to play.
The Player has returned their Medical Clearance. Now what?
- Medical Clearances are private and confidential documents and should only be shared with authorised Club/Association Members involved in the Return to Play process.
- Follow protocol as outlined by your Club/Association, and relevant NRL Policies and Guidelines.
REMEMBER - depending on the injury, a player may have been made unavailable in their online squad in MySideline. This status can only be removed by your local Association - make sure to understand local rules for the player to be made available to play.
A Player is UNAVAILABLE to select for a match in MySideline due to injury. What do I do?
A player becomes Unavailable to select for future matches when an Injury Report indicates a concussion. This "Unavailable" status can only be removed by Association level or higher, with the return of a completed NRL Community Head Injury/Concussion Medical Clearance. This page is also available as part of the Medical Clearance Form / HIA Form from MySideline Manager.
Discuss protocol with your Club/Association to understand local processes for a Player to be made available to select.
Still need help?
Our friendly support team is here to help.CONTACT SUPPORT