BOXING has been banned by the AFL following the incident that saw Hawthorn forward Mitch Lewis concussed after he was hit on the head by teammate Jacob Koschitzke.

The AFL confirmed that WorkSafe investigated the incident at the club and was satisfied with Hawthorn's response and intends to take no further action.

Hawthorn was also not sanctioned by the AFL after the League finalised its investigation following interviews with club officials and players.

But the AFL has moved to ensure there are no repeat incidents after earlier this year strengthening its concussion protocols for players.


The League told clubs that combat boxing sessions and sparring between two players and/or officials is "strictly prohibited".

Boxing training will be allowed to continue as a part of training sessions but only under the AFL's set of recommendations and while managed by "qualified personnel".

Richmond assistant coach Xavier Clarke and skipper Trent Cotchin in action during a boxing session in January, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

"These new measures have immediate application and are part of the ongoing efforts of the AFL and clubs to protect the health and safety of the players," said the AFL's general manager of football Andrew Dillon.

"With the introduction of these new measures, the risk of this sort of incident occurring in the future will be significantly reduced."

Lewis did not play at senior level between rounds 11 and 18 following the incident, which Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has previously defended as an "accident".

Hawthorn's Mitch Lewis in action against Adelaide in round 19, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"Part of the things we do, whether it's on-field or off-field, is, in actual fact, to prepare our players to protect themselves in a way that allows them to play a collision sport and do it as safely as they possibly can," the four-time premiership coach said last month.

"To prepare them to do that, sometimes you have to put a little bit of risk into your training, whether that's on-field or off-field.

"Now, we want to mitigate that risk as much as we possibly can and, in this instance, it was just a genuine accident."

The AFL's concussion guidelines were strengthened this season with players forced to sit out a mandatory period of 12 days following a concussion. They also need to complete three main training sessions, including a contact session, before being cleared to play after a concussion.