Normative values of common sport-related concussion assessment tools may assist clinical diagnosis and management. However, current baseline normative values are not representative of athletic participants across international domains. This study develops healthy baseline norms on the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), and King-Devick (K-D), providing baseline reference values for professional Zambian football athletes.


Of the 125 male participants (aged 24.48 ± 5.41 years) screened for this study, 9 (7.2%) reported a previous history of concussion, 98 (78.4%) completed the Balance Error Scoring System and 88 (70.4%) completed the King-Devick. Descriptive statistics calculated for the BESS and the K-D test included mean, standard deviation, median, interquartile range (IQR), and percentiles ranks.

Main findings

Participants scored a mean ± standard deviation of 10.15 ± 5.6 and a median [IQR] of 9 [6–12.25] errors on the total BESS and completed the K-D test in a mean ± standard deviation 56.85 ± 10.55 seconds and a median [IQR] 55.28 [48.7–64.8] seconds.


Cross-cultural awareness and management of sport-related concussion are continuously improving the safety and well-being of athletic participants around the world. The diverse representation in these data may aid in interpretation of post-injury performance during sport-related concussion management in Zambia. This study develops baseline reference values currently lacking within African cultures and demonstrates the feasibility and global clinical utility of two sport-related concussion assessment resources.

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