The SPFL have announced a rule change will be made so concussion substitutes can be trialled in Scotland’s professional leagues from March 6 until the end of the season.
The rule change comes following an announcement by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in December 2020 competition organisers could trial the system – which allows teams to replace players they think may be concussed – between January and August 2021.
A vote of the 42 SPFL clubs was held on the matter.
There have been growing concerns over the effects of head injuries in sport in recent years, with many ex-players going on to suffer from conditions like dementia.
An SPFL statement, explaining what the rule change for Premiership, Championship, League One and League Two games will entail, said: “In accordance with Scottish FA guidelines for the trial, each team would be permitted a maximum of two concussion substitutes in a match.
“A concussion substitution may be made regardless of the number of substitutes already used.
“When a head injury is sustained or suspected, the team may either use one of their existing substitutes, if the maximum permitted number have not been used, or make an additional concussion substitute.
“When a concussion substitute is used, the opposing team has the option to use an additional substitute for any reason.”
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “The safety and wellbeing of players is clearly of the utmost importance to everyone involved with running football.
“Yesterday’s tragic news that (Scotland legend) Gordon McQueen has been diagnosed with dementia is the latest reminder of why it is vital that we do everything we can to protect those playing our game.
“We have seen a great deal of positive development in concussion protocols across sport in recent years and we hope that our participation in this trial will be the next step in that process.
“The Scottish FA refereeing department has already started briefing our clubs on the details of the rule change, with that process continuing in advance of the change coming into force on 6 March.”
Any permanent change would also cover the Betfred Cup.
The SFA previously announced concussion subs would be trialled in this season’s Scottish Cup, before the competition was put on hold due to Covid-19.