MLS seeks to start concussion program

04/07/2021

On at 01:18 CEST

The medical leaders of the highest categories of American football have decided to implement a task force that will seek to work to help implement changes in the management of concussions that have already been approved by IFAB and FIFA.

Starting this season, MLS will allow two concussion trades to replace a player who suffered a blow or is suspected of having this trauma.

These changes will be separate from the changes they have during the match.

According to the statement issued by the league, MLS teams will have three types of changes that they can use in each game, which can be up to nine in a game:

Normal Changes: The five changes that have been implemented since 2020 with the three windows in which they can be used.

Concussion Change: Each team will have the ability to make two changes only in instances where concussions are suspected. This change can occur after the injury occurs, it is suspected, after an evaluation is done. This includes a player who has been evaluated and returned to the field of play.

Additional Changes: If a team uses a concussion change, the opposing team will receive an additional change that is available only if they used all five changes.

ADJUSTMENTS IN THE CHANGE PROTOCOLS

According to the statement, each team will be responsible for designating the exchange rate with the fourth official using the card with the appropriate color. For normal changes a white card will be used, for shock it will be pink and additional change will be blue.

The potential benefit of the program is apparent. This will reduce the pressure on teams to keep players who are in concussion for fear of playing at a numerical disadvantage for extended time. In addition, by recognizing these injuries quickly, this helps in the rehabilitation and recovery processes.

This pilot program will last until August 21, 2022. But the IFAB has the opportunity to extend this program starting in March of next year.