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Participating in sport and active recreation and engaging in a wide range of activities is part of our Western Australian way of life.

Physical activity and participation have well established benefits, including enhanced physical and mental health, an improved sense of self-confidence and increased community engagement.

Whether the activity be community or performance orientated, ensuring the Western Australian community can engage in a safe and healthy manner is essential and should be prioritised in all instances. Awareness around concussion in the sporting environment and broader community is continuing to grow.

As with any injury, the appropriate education, identification, and management of incidents of concussion can ensure a safe and positive return to learning, sport and recreational activities.

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) provides support and guidance to the Western Australian sport and recreation industry by disseminating the latest, evidence-based research from national and international experts.

We also work closely with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to ensure that the Western Australian community is equipped with current best practice and recommendations to best recognise and manage incidents of concussion.

What is concussion?

Concussion is a brain injury resulting in a disturbance of brain function. It affects the way a person thinks, feels and remembers things. Concussion can affect an individual in a variety of ways, including:

  • physical – headaches, dizziness and vision changes
  • cognitive – feeling ‘foggy’ and slowed down
  • emotional – short tempered, sad or a general change of personality
  • sleep – not being able to sleep or sleep more than normal
  • fatigue – low energy.

What causes concussion?

A concussion occurs through a collision with another person or object where the biomechanical forces to the head, or anywhere on the body transmit an impulse force to the head and/or brain. In most cases, this results in a transient neurological impairment. It should be noted that concussion can also occur with relatively minor ‘knocks’.

Source: Australian Sports Commission, Australian Concussion Guidelines for Youth and Community Sport, February 2024

Australian Concussion Guidelines

The ASC is leading the development and communication of information relating to concussion identification and management for the Australian sporting sector.

The ASC has developed two resources that are available to the sector and can be found on the concussion in sport webpage:

These resources and guidelines represent an international position on concussion management, developed in conjunction with the United Kingdom’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and the New Zealand Government’s Accident Compensation Corporation.

They also contain the following key information:

  • how to recognise concussion and a link to concussion recognition tool 6 (CRT6)
  • immediate management of concussion
  • graded return to sport flowcharts and timeframes
  • protocols with multiple concussions
  • systems for managing concussion in the school and sport environment.

The ASC mantra is clear regarding concussion management:

  • If in doubt, sit them out.

Source: Australian Sports Commission, Concussion Brain Health Position Statement 2024, February 2024

Athletes, families and State Sporting Associations (SSAs) are encouraged to seek qualified medical advice regarding the management of concussion symptoms and occurrences.

Supporting resources

The ASC has developed the following forms and information for the guidance of athletes, parents, coaches and volunteers.

Online training

Online modules have been developed to assist with increasing the understanding and management of concussion. Connectivity is a not-for-profit organisation working to help improve the lives of people with traumatic brain injuries.

Connectivity has a 15-minute interactive online Sport-Related Concussion Short Course which aims to educate athletes, coaches, umpires, staff, volunteers, parents/guardians/caregivers and other interested people to recognise and manage a sport-related concussion injury. 

What's happening in WA

The DLGSC is actively involved in a number of concussion working groups that enable the collation and sharing of information relevant to the sector. These working groups are:

  • WA Sports Industry Concussion Working Group. This group is co-convened by the department and Sport West. This group meets quarterly and brings together medical experts, industry leaders and administrators to understand the needs of the sector at all levels across Western Australia.
  • WA Concussion Network. This group is a collaboration between community, clinicians and researchers, to improve the identification and treatment pathways of concussion for all Western Australians.

The DLGSC is developing a Concussion Action Plan to support the sector to provide timely and appropriate information.

The DLGSC website will serve as a first stop resource to direct clubs, associations, peak bodies, parents and participants for up-to-date news and information about the management of concussion in sport and recreation in Western Australia.

The DLGSC will also facilitate workshops with sector representatives as appropriate.

Western Australian sport and recreation organisations are encouraged to develop policies consistent with their National Sporting Organisation or Peak Body that encompass the following key areas: 

  • education of coaches, guides, leaders, officials and support personnel 
  • activity/game day management
  • rehabilitation inclusive of returning to activity, training and game environments. 

    The DLGSC also recognises Sports Medicine Australia’s efforts to increase awareness and understanding of concussion and support the delivery of best practice management of concussion injuries through all levels of sport and recreation in Western Australia. Visit Sports Medicine Australia (WA)’s website to learn more.   

Additional information

Senate inquiry into concussions and repeated head trauma in contact sports

In September 2023, the Australian Government released the report from the Senate inquiry into concussion and repeated head trauma in contact sports. The inquiry found 13 recommendations.

The DLGSC is working with the Australian Government's Office for Sport and Australian Sports Commission to review the recommendations and align national and state-based actions to the recommendations.

The DLGSC will ensure the Western Australian sporting community remains informed on all emerging matters.


DLGSC Sport Business team 
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries  


Sample policies, guidelines and other resources are available at the following websites: 


4 April 2024

Page reviewed 11 September 2023