DON'T "TOUGH OUT" A CONCUSSION
USA Youth and High School Rugby places player welfare and safety at the very top of our priorities. This is especially true with concussions and head injuries. USA Youth and High School Rugby's concussion policy is intended to follow World Rugby regulation 10, and follows the "5 Rs" of concussion awareness:
OFFICIAL USA YOUTH AND HIGH SCHOOL 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 the 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:
Youth and High School players - 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.
USA Youth and High School Rugby and USA Rugby's policy requires that ALL rugby players, coaches, referees, staff, parents, volunteers and even fans follow these five basic steps when dealing with suspected concussion:
Recognize - Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion so you can understand when an athlete might have a suspected concussion.
Remove - If an athlete has a concussion or even a suspected concussion that they 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 athlete.
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.
CONCUSSION EDUCATION & RESOURCES AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC)
Developed by clinical experts who pioneered the field, ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the most-widely used and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT provides trained clinicians with neurocognitive assessment tools and services that have been medically accepted as state-of-the-art best practices - as part of determining safe return to play decisions. Utilize ImPACT Testing for your team.
National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up to provide information and resources to help educate coaches, officials, parents and students on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports. View the course description here.