RFU Concussion protocols *updated August 2023*

Concussion is one of the key injuries players may come across whilst playing rugby.

New government guidance (May 2023) is very clear: no-one should return to sport within 24 hours of a POTENTIAL concussion. Also, everyone with potential concussion should either SEE a doctor or CALL 111 within 24 hours of the incident AND rest and sleep as much as needed for the first 24-48 hours, avoiding screen time. More info here.

England Rugby have pulled together rich resources to help parents, players, coaches and others cope with instances of concussion.

A planned return to the game is key.

Check out this guide for parents and players

A concussion recognition tool for u6-u12 specifically, can be downloaded here

A general concussion recognition tool can be downloaded here

England Rugby's resources page for concussion are here. We would recommend all coaches and first aiders (and even parents) take the 30 min-long England Rugby online awareness course.

The course designed for coaches is here.

The course designed for parents, guardian and teachers is here.

The course designed for players is here.

New tackle height law changes in effect from 1 July 2023 - tackles must be below the base of the sternum in open play

To minimise the risk of head on head contact the RFU have introduced new tackle height laws for the entire "community" game. This is everyone, adults and kids, below Championship Rugby. This means our adult men and women, as well as all our kids, will play to these new tackle height laws.

There are loads of resources available here, at the England Rugby website. All players, coaches and referees need to learn the new laws as there are obligations for both the tackler (below the sternum) AND the ball carrier (cannot run with head below hips, nor lead with shoulder, arm etc).

We encourage all parents to take the England Rugby HEADCASE module: https://keepyourbootson.co.uk/rugbysafe-toolkit/headcase/. "If in doubt, sit them out" is a key takeaway.

Wimbledon RFC player, Matteo, talks concussion on this BBC Newsround programme

Well worth a watch: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/57795018
Great to see one of own players explore how concussion has affected him. This film also offers great advice for players, coaches and players alike.

World Rugby have released new tackle technique resources - September 2021
Tackle Ready resources are here.

Tackle Ready breaks down the tackle into 5 phases: Tracking, Preparation, Connection, Acceleration and Finish.

There are lots of video and other resources on effective and safe tackle technique here.

Reckless tackle
A player is deemed to have made reckless contact during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game if in making contact, the player knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway. This sanction applies even if the tackle starts below the sternum.

Minimum sanction: Yellow card
Maximum sanction: Red card

Accidental tackle
When making contact with another player during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game, if a player makes accidental contact with an opponent's head, either directly or where the contact starts below the line of the sternum, the player may still be sanctioned. This includes situations where the ball-carrier slips into the tackle.

Minimum sanction: Penalty

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