Injury Management

When an injury occurs your club may need to provide a range of assistance, from instruction on management of the injury, to the immediate provision of first aid or contacting an emergency service to provide medical assistance.

“Injury Prevention and Management is a significant concern with clubs believing safety, the wellbeing of players and keeping players participating are essential to club operations” (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation).

The most commonly used immediate injury treatment plan is the R.I.C.E.R method:

REST – ensure that the injured area is rested, reducing the weight put on that area where possible

ICE - ply an ice pack (covered with a light, absorbent towel to help prevent frostbite) for 10 minutes, then remove for 10 minutes. Repeat this as often as possible for the first 24 to 48 hours after your injury.

COMPRESSION - wrapping the injured area to prevent swelling.

ELEVATION - raising the sore body part above the level of your heart. Doing so reduces pain, throbbing, and any internal bleeding that can lead to bruises.

LINK: Soft Tissue Injury

Clubs should consider signage to outline this type of injury management to remind participants, as well as providing this information via the club website or in participant information packs.

Coaches and administrators, whom might be called upon to provide advice for injured participants, should also be made familiar with protocols and location of the information to direct people in responding to an injury.

First aid can be applied immediately to an injury, to assist in pain management, until further medical assistance arrives on the scene or where the patient self-transports to receive further assistance.

The provision of first aid commonly follows the DRS. ABCD Action Plan.

D – Danger, ensure the area is safe for yourself, others and the patient

R – Responsive, check for a response.

S – Send for Help, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance or ask another person to do so

A – Airways, open the airway

B – Breathing, is their normal breathing

C – Start CPR

D – Use Defibrillator where necessary (AED), attach and follow the prompts.


First aid can be applied specifically for a range of injuries.

Link: First Aid Fact Sheets

First Aid Equipment should be located at your sport ground/field and clearly sign posted for participants, or those supporting an injured person, to be able to access.

Clubs should consider their requirements, and the frequency of some injuries, to determine what is included and continuously restocked into their first aid kit.The kit should be highly portable, waterproof and easily accessible for ease of use.

LINK: First Aid Kits

LINK: Sports First Aid Kits

LINK: Guide to a Well-Stocked Footy Kit

Clubs can gather all their first aid equipment, kits and provisions to conduct an audit that will identify what additional provision may be required.It is important to have multiple places where first aid equipment is available and clearly signposted, as well as it being accessible by all participants or where necessary by spectators.

Clubs should ensure they have adequately trained first aid officers available to assist, and that these officers have their training regularly updated according to the applicable legislation.

To assist all participants in an emergency, it is important to have signage on what to do in an emergency, as well as the numbers to call – which not all participants are familiar with – which should be easily accessed to support the correct assistance.

97% of clubs surveyed had first aid kids accessible at training and games (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation).

Clubs should aim to a have a simple, straightforward plan that they can follow in a medical emergency.

Knowing what medical equipment you have at your club, knowing who has first aid or medical training and clearly signposting where your medical equipment is kept, and how to use it, helps to make your club ready.

71% of clubs surveyed had a medical emergency plan (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation).

A basic action plan can include:

  • A review of your first aid equipment
  • Identifyingtraining requirements for first aid or emergency response
  • Establishing a route for emergency vehicle access –where can an ambulance go to have best access to your facility
  • Post Event Review – establish a process for your organisation to review an incident to learn and grow your procedures to be suitable for your environment.

Link: Medical Emergency Planning Guide

Concussion is an injury to the brain. Concussion may be caused by either a direct or indirect blow to the head, face, neck or body causing an impulsive force transmitted to the head.

The Australian Institute of Sport and Australian Medical Association have a concussion in sport website, to assist in the identification and management of concussion injury –

Link: Concussion Advice

Link: Concussion Pocket Recognition Tool

Link: AIS AMA Concussion in Sport – Resources

Clubs should consider accessing their national body’s guidelines or policy in relation to concussion and ensure that all club participants and administrators are familiar with the instructions contained in these documents.

Clubs can display their concussions tests for all participants and ensuring coaching, first aid and administration staff are familiar with the process to check for concussion and what action should be taken where it is detected.

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