The National Rugby League is considering drastic action in order to tackle the drama over concussions and head injuries, by copying a trend from America’s National Football League (NFL).
The American sport introduced what are known as “spotters” – who are based in boxes around the stadium – to monitor players who have just suffered a head injury, to track they are allowed to continue without any risk of further injury.
Australian rugby league authorities are considering the move following the introduction of strict new rules regarding players and concussion. Canterbury Bulldogs became the first club to be fined under the new restrictions last week, for an incident involving Josh Johnson.
The Bulldogs are also under investigation for another incident – one of five across the NRL – where James Graham did not leave the field after a head injury, and was permitted to play on.
These ‘spotters’, also referred to as the ‘eye in the sky’, have been at all NFL games since 2012, and can use television replays to determine whether players should immediately be withdrawn from play after consulting with medics.
It would be another huge development in a problem that seems to be plaguing the game in 2014, with the NRL looking to copy the successful model laid out by the NFL in America’s elite sport.
You can read 1eague3 chairman Jon Wilkin’s views on what should be done to combat concussion and head injuries in this weeks edition of League Express.