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Recover and return

For any concussion, there is a minimum stand-down period before a player can return to contact training. The minimum timeframe is 21 days for all players.


During this stand down period players must complete the Graduated Return to Learn/Work and the Return to Play (GRTP) program. These programs are based on international best practice with the goal of helping players recover and get back to school/work and sport.

An athlete should not go back to sports until they are back to school or work without symptoms getting significantly worse and no longer needing any changes in their schedule.




  1. Relative rest

Activities of daily living and reduced screen time

Days 1 - 2

  1. Light to moderate exercise*

Symptom-guided low to moderate intensity activity such as walking, or jogging

Days 3-16

Min. of 24 hours between stages before progressing. Symptoms should be progressively improving. If symptoms worsen drop back a stage.

  1. Individual sport-specific exercise*

Increase intensity. Running, change of direction, individual skills with NO risk of head impact

  1. Non-contact training drills*

Progression to more complex multiplayer training drills: passing, catching, may start weight training

Days 17 - 18

  1. Following medical clearance full contact practice

May participate in normal training activities (contact training)

Day 18 - 20

  1. After 24 hours return to play

Player rehabilitated

Day 21



As a concussion is a brain injury the ability of the player to think and process information will also be affected. The athlete may need to miss a few days of school or work after a concussion. When going back to school or work, some athletes may need to:

  1. Go back gradually
  2. Make changes to their schedule so that concussion symptoms do not get worse.

If a particular activity makes symptoms worse, the athlete should stop that activity and rest until symptoms get better.

If the player continues to have symptoms with mental activity, some other things that can help with return to school or work may include:

  • Starting school/work day late, only going for half days, or going to a certain class or doing certain tasks
  • Taking lots of breaks during the day
  • Allowing more time to finish tasks, assignments or tests
  • No more than one exam per day
  • Working in a quiet room
  • Avoiding noisy areas at school or the workplace
  • Use of a student helper/tutor

If at any stage the symptom comes back, players need to return to the previous stage until they are gone. These timeframes are a minimum, sometimes players may need to spend longer in each stage.

Although most players typically recover within 21 days, if you continue to experience concussion symptoms, we encourage you to seek further medical treatment.