OFFICIAL USA RUGBY CONCUSSION POLICY
- If a player shows symptoms of concussion before, during or after a match, that player must be removed from play immediately, not to return during that match. No Exceptions.
- The player needs to be evaluated by appropriate medical staff. Best practice would be evaluation by a medical physician who has training in concussion evaluation and management. A player must do this before returning to play rugby in any form.
- If a concussion is diagnosed, that player must sit out of activity with full rest for the minimum guidelines listed below: Adults – 1 week (seven full days) AND be symptom free before beginning the 5 day Graduated Return to Play Protocols. Not returning to contact rugby before GRTP fully complete and symptom free.
Youth and HS players (18 and under) – 2 weeks (14 full days) AND be symptom free before beginning the 5 day Graduated Return to Play Protocols. Not returning to contact rugby before GRTP fully complete and symptom free.
- Once a player is cleared by a physician, they should be closely monitored for any lingering symptoms by coaches, parents, teammates and medical staff and be removed from play immediately if symptoms occur.
KNOW THE 5 RS
USA Rugby’s policy requires that ALL rugby players, staff, parents, referees, volunteers, and even fans follow these five basic steps when dealing with suspected concussions:
- Recognize – Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion so you understand when an athlete might have a suspected concussion.
- Remove – If an athlete has a concussion or even a suspected concussion he or she must be removed from play immediately.
- Refer – Once removed from play, the player should be referred immediately to a qualified healthcare professional who is trained in evaluating and treating concussions.
- Recover – Full recovery from the concussion is required before return to play is authorized. This includes being symptom-free. Rest and some specific treatment options are critical for the health of the injured participant.
- Return – In order for safe return to play in rugby, the athlete must be symptom-free and cleared in writing by a qualified healthcare professional who is trained in evaluating and treating concussions. (NOTE: Rugby Montana requires that the athlete complete the GRTP (Graduated Return to Play) protocol.