Ealing Trailfinders Academy – Graduated Return To Play (GRTP)



Rest is the cornerstone of concussion treatment. This involves resting the body – ‘physical rest’ – and resting the brain – ‘cognitive rest’.

The means avoidance of:

  • Physical activities such as running, cycling, swimming, etc
  • Cognitive activities, such as school work, homework, reading, television, video games, etc

This complete rest should be for a minimum of 24 hours.

Before restarting activity, the player must be symptom free at rest. Medical or approved healthcare provider clearance is recommended before restarting activity.

  • If any symptoms are present or reappear, contact training and playing must be avoided.
  • Rest from playing or contact training is recommended for a minimum of 2 weeks following cessation of symptoms in ALL Academy Players.

A Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) must be completed:

  • for ALL players diagnosed with a concussion.
  • for ALL player even suspected of having concussion during a game or training at which there is no appropriately qualified person present.

A GRTP should only be commenced after the completion of the rest period recommended and only if the player is symptom free and off medication that modifies symptoms of concussion.

Any player with a second concussion within 12 months, a history of multiple concussions, with unusual presentations or prolonged recovery must be assessed and managed by healthcare providers (multi-disciplinary) with experience in sports-related concussions and no further participation in Rugby should take place until the player is cleared by a doctor with experience in concussion management.

Graduated Return To Play

Stage 1 (Minimum Rest Period)

2 weeks complete rest period, measured from 1st symptom free day post injury.

Stage 2 (Light Aerobic Exercise)

10-15 Minutes of light/moderate jogging, swimming or cycling.

Stage 3 (Sport Specific Exercise)

Running Drills, no head impact activities. 

Stage 4 (Non Contact Drills)

Progression to more complex training drills, e.g. passing drills. May start progressive resistance training.

Stage 5 (Full Contact Practice)

Normal training activities.

Stage 6 (Return To Play)

Player rehabilitation complete.


I. Players may only progress from states 2-6 if no symptoms are experienced in a full 24hr period post exercise.

 ii. For list of symptoms please see Concussion Protocol.