RFU Concussion protocols *updated September 2021*

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

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.

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.

Recent legislation changes from World Rugby and England Rugby

Age Grade change to tackle height from 1 August 2021
There is a new unified ruling across all U9 to U18 with the tackle height reduced to being the imagined line at the armpits.
The objective being to reducing tackle height and reduce the chances of head impact.

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.

There has been further tightening up of high tackle laws from August 2019 onwards
Full details and the decision-making trees for appropriate sanctions are 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 line of the shoulders. This type of contact also applies to grabbing and rolling or twisting around the head/neck area even if the contact starts below the line of the shoulders.

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 shoulders, the player may still be sanctioned. This includes situations where the ball-carrier slips into the tackle.

Minimum sanction: Penalty

World Rugby law changes, 2017
And in support of helping to avoid cases of concussion, World Rugby adopted new laws regarding high tackles on 3rd January 2017. In effect, there is greater emphasis on penalising contact above the shoulders. More details can be found here.

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