Freeclaim welcome new rules for concussion in rugby union
It is good to see that rugby union is taking the issue of concussion seriously. We are pleased that the period of time for the off-pitch assessment has been doubled and we hope that club doctors will be encouraged to use the full 10 minutes and not rush players back onto the pitch.
Due to many recent incidents, new rules have now been introduced in professional rugby union for the assessment and management of concussion and head injuries. This is further to changes also made by the Football Association early this year in relation to head injuries in football. The rules are designed to minimise the risk of serious head injuries in sport.
The changes to the rules for rugby union include:
- The time allowed for doctors to assess a player has been raised from 5 minute to 10 minutes.
- It is mandatory for all registered players, coaches and officials to take and pass an online module which gives them better awareness about concussion and possible signs and consequences.
- The memory test assessment tool has been improved, as has the balance test.
- Replays will be available to help assess the extent of head injuries and possible concussion, with specialist medical teams.
- Players with confirmed or suspected concussion will be removed from the game.
- Independent reviews of each case will be undertaken to check the on-field management of possible head injuries and concussion.
Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway (the brain injury charity) commented on the changes, “It is good to see that rugby union is taking the issue of concussion seriously. We are pleased that the period of time for the off-pitch assessment has been doubled and we hope that club doctors will be encouraged to use the full 10 minutes and not rush players back onto the pitch. The message must remain ‘if in doubt, sit them out’.”
These new rules and changes focus on the awareness of head injuries and concussion in rugby union, as well as the management of these injuries on the pitch and the ‘return to play’ protocol.
Philip Coulthurst, Head of Serious Injuries at Freeclaim Solicitors, commented, “It is important that suspected brain injuries and concussion are taken very seriously. There has been longstanding research in the US investigating the effects of repeated concussions in sport, particularly amongst National Football League (NFL) players. The consequences of a head injury which remains untreated and undetected can be extremely serious. I am pleased that the Rugby Football Union, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players’ Association have come together to address these issues and are making steps in the right direction.”
Freeclaim Solicitors are specialist accident compensation lawyers with over 25 years’ experience dealing with head injury claims and concussion following a sporting accident. Our expert solicitors can help you, or a loved one, if you have been injured whilst playing any sport.
Freeclaim Solicitors are recommended by the Legal 500 and are members of Headway’s Directory of Solicitors with proven expertise in head injury. They will take the stress away from claiming compensation after a serious sports injury and have a combined legal and early treatment and rehabilitation approach. Call free on 0800 612 7340 or go to www.freeclaim.co.uk for more information.
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