Be safe on the rugby field - Concussion Protocol reminder

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The turn of spring turns some of the most competitive rugby up a notch across the country as playoffs begin for colleges and senior clubs.

Every point is earned through a battle, rucks are contested as if turnovers are won in every tackle area, and student-athletes and rugby players are running full speed to get their club the win and potentially impress scouts from the national teams.

With the intense level of play in a contact sport comes injuries, none more serious than a concussion. At the elite level of play in international and approved professional competitions, World Rugby has worked to combat the susceptibility of concussions by putting in place the Head Injury Assessment, a process including a strict sideline assessment combining cognitive, balance, and memory tests based on the best available evidence and rigid follow-up procedures.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SUSPECT A CONCUSSION

The HIA isNOTan option for rugby athletes competing in any domestic competition in the United States, however. Clubs, colleges, and high school teams must still practice USA Rugby's five Rs - Recognize, Remove, Refer, Recover, and Return - in terms of suspected concussions, keeping athletes safe with precautionary measures.

Player welfare is of the upmost importance to USA Rugby and each of the world's governing bodies of the sport of rugby. Athletes put their bodies on the line on the field of play and, without them, there would be no rugby.

At your upcoming rugby workout, training, or match, review with your team the five Rs and the steps to take when a teammate or opponent looks to have concussion-like symptoms. For more information and relevant reference materials, visit USA Rugby's Concussions page.