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Rugby safety

Rugby in general, and our club in particular, takes safety of our athletes very seriously. A common misconception is that because there is no helmet and pads in rugby that rugby is more dangerous than other sports with such protection. However, a helmet does not protect against concussions. To avoid head injury, it is important to take the head out of the impact zone. In rugby there is no intentional head contact, but of course accidents can still happen. Here is a quote by Lyle J. Micheli, MD (past president of the American College of Sports Medicine);

"The main reason rugby players have a relatively low risk of injury compared to football players is paradoxical – rugby players don’t wear protective equipment. Thus the rugby player doesn’t have the same disregard for the safety of his or her head, neck, and shoulders when tackling or trying to break through a tackle.

The other reason is that unlike football, rugby is a game of possession, not yardage. Consequently rugby players don’t tackle by “driving through the numbers,” as football players are taught to do with their heads when tackling a player. In rugby, players are taught to use their arms to wrap a player’s legs and let the momentum of that player cause him to go to ground.

Furthermore, in rugby there is no blocking, and so players who don’t have the ball don’t get hit when they’re not expecting it."

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