Players and Parents
Players are responsible for their health and should take concussion seriously. Failing to follow the guidance provided (PDF 798KB) can have significant and sometimes serious consequences:
- Your playing career and enjoyment of the game may be affected
- Your long term health may be affected
- Your work and/or academic studies may be affected
Play well, perform well
Although it may not be possible to stop all concussions happening, there are some measures players can take that have the potential to reduce the number of concussions we see:
- Ensure the playing or training area is safe, and the risk of serious head injury occurring is reduced.
- Check ground conditions - do not play or train if the ground is frozen solid or rock hard due to drought.
- Ensure all posts and barriers on or close to the pitch are protected with appropriate padding.
- Ensure correct tackle technique is performed consistently. If the head of the tackler hits the ball carrier there is a significant risk of concussion and/or neck injury. You should therefore ensure that you are able to perform correct tackle technique consistently.
- Do not engage in dangerous play such as high, tip and spear tackles. Similarly do not tackle players in the air i.e. when jumping to catch the ball from kicks or lineouts. Falling from height increases the risk of concussion and neck injuries.
Rugby head guards do not protect against concussion. They do protect against superficial injuries to the head such as cuts and grazes though - this has been demonstrated in a number of research studies. There is also however some evidence to suggest that head guards may increase risk taking behaviours in some players.
Mouth guards/gum shields do not protect against concussion either although they are strongly recommended for all players as they do protect against dental and facial injuries.
Remember the 4 Rs:
Recognise the signs and symptoms (PDF 859KB)
Remove the player from play (PDF 859KB)
Recover fully before returning to sport (PDF 859KB)
Return only after following a Graduated Return to Play (PDF 1.6MB)
Full information for players and parents (PDF 798KB)
Download the concussion assessment tool – Pocket SCAT3 (128KB)
I’ve been concussed, what next? – Read Headway’s advice leaflet (PDF 37KB)
Summary information for parents (PDF 73KB)
Summary information for players (PDF 74KB)
The information contained in this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for appropriate medical advice or care. If you believe that you or someone under your care has sustained a concussion we strongly recommend that you contact a qualified health care professional for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The authors have made responsible efforts to include accurate and timely information. However they make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy of the information contained and specifically disclaim any liability in connection with the content on this site.