There has been some media coverage around an unusual number of head and neck injuries this season, particularly amongst older junior girls’ teams. As part of the football community, RJFC unfortunately is not immune to this broad trend.
The RJFC believes a cautious and conservative approach both at the time of injury and as importantly in the period afterwards is the correct pathway and we have been pleased that parents have been supportive of that approach.
The RJFC is however concerned that these more serious injuries have been occurring and accordingly we are considering the most appropriate response.
We believe one of the reasons for the number of injuries amongst girls is that they are new to the game and have not yet learnt how to protect their bodies when entering an on-field contested situation and have not yet developed the correct technique when tackling an opposition player or when being tackled.
We are currently doing the following:
- investigating specialist assistance and courses from which coaches and players will benefit with an emphasis on correct tackling technique (both when making tackles and when being tackled by an opposition player) and how to position their bodies when entering a contest in a way that reduces the possibility of head/neck injuries;
- raising our concerns with the YJFL and the AFL and asking whether there should be some rule changes considered in an attempt to reduce the number of such injuries, such as modification of the rules for tackling;
- requesting the YJFL to remind umpires to enforce current policy relating to tackling with greater diligence, and
- as you know, RJFC was proactive in funding the provision of Colbrow medics at all of our home games in 2017, and again in 2018. We consider this initiative to be a high priority and of great value to our players and, as such, we have requested and maintain that the YJFL extend this to be mandatory for all clubs.
We would welcome any additional suggestions and positive ideas on action that might be considered. If you have any, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org