New measures to limit contact with the head announced

  • New law application guideline will codify zero-tolerance to contact with the head
  • Approach informed by largest-ever study identifying most common situations leading to head injuries
  • Players, coaches and match officials urged to be proactive in changing culture
  • Latest step in proactive, evidence-driven approach to injury reduction
  • Head is a no-go area

DUBLIN - World Rugby has further strengthened its commitment to injury prevention by announcing details of a zero-tolerance approach to reckless and accidental head contact in the sport.


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While injuries in the game are not on the rise, the federation continues to be proactive in furthering evidence-based strategies to reduce injury risk for all players.


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In a change to law, World Rugby has redefined illegal (high) tackle categories and increased sanctions to deter high tackles via a law application guideline. This will apply at all levels of the game from 3 January 2017 introducing minimum on-field sanctions for reckless and accidental contact with the head, effectively lowering the acceptable height of the tackle. The guideline will be supported with a global education programme.

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