New registry to keep ‘transparent’ eye on AFL concussions


Concussion campaigner Peter Jess is set to follow an NFL model and launch a registry that will document all serious head knocks of AFL-listed players, and eventually also post concussions sustained at community football level.

Based on a US model from the PBS Frontline television program, which tracks NFL head knocks, Jess, the veteran player agent who is still leading a potential class action against the AFL, is set to launch concussionwatch.com.au on Thursday.

Star Magpie Jordan De Goey entered the AFL’s concussion protocols after suffering a head knock against West Coast.Credit:Getty Images

Jess wants the website, run in conjunction with not-for-profit charity Nurosafe and his own charity Sports Health Check, to keep “a running tally and vigilant and transparent eye” on the number of concussions of AFL and soon AFLW-listed players, for a full listing of injured players is not always maintained on club websites.

Jess said there had been 32 instances of concussion through the pre-season and season proper, including Richmond’s Dylan Grimes, the latest incidence. Two players have twice been concussed. This has been backed by club injury lists and media reporting. But he claims there were four players who “almost certainly” had been concussed in the season proper but other injuries from the incidents, such as a fractured eye socket, were used on official injury lists. There were nine listed concussions on club websites heading into round seven.

CONCUSSED AFL PLAYERS 2021

  • Jake Kelly (Adelaide)
  • Darcy Gardiner (Brisbane)
  • David Cuningham (Carlton)
  • Jordan De Goey (Collingwood)
  • * Chris Mayne (Collingwood)
  • Nathan Murphy (Collingwood)
  • Levi Greenwood (Collingwood)
  • Jordan Ridley (Essendon)
  • Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
  • Brandon Walker (Fremantle)
  • Lachie Schultz (Fremantle)
  • Rhys Stanley (Geelong)
  • Sean Lemmens (Gold Coast)
  • Cameron Fleeton (GWS)
  • * Steven May (Melbourne)
  • Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
  • Curtis Taylor (North Melbourne)
  • Cameron Zuhaar (North Melbourne)
  • Aaron Hall (North Melbourne)
  • Tom Rockliff (Port Adelaide)
  • Dustin Martin (Richmond)
  • Kamdyn McIntosh (Richmond)
  • Dylan Grimes (Richmond)
  • Max King (St Kilda)
  • Jimmy Webster (St Kilda)
  • Callum Mills (Sydney)
  • George Hewett (Sydney)
  • Zac Langdon (West Coast)
  • Tim English (Western Bulldogs)
  • Mitch Hannan (Western Bulldogs)
  • * May and Mayne have been concussed twice

FIGURES: AFL concussion audit – AFL injury report

That there are more than 30 concussions recorded less than a third of the way into the season proper means Jess and his researchers fear the century mark could be touched for the first time. The highest number recorded in the past decade was 75 in 2011, with 74 in 2018 and 65 in 2019. Figures for last season have not been released.

“We are heading towards 100 this year, which is extraordinary considering we are supposedly making the game safer but that is not being shown up,” Jess said.

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