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3 years ago By James Pepper

Headcase - Concussion


There has been much discussion about concussion and what referees should and shouldn’t do if a player gets concussed. Referees have a duty of care and powers under Law 3.9 to keep an injured player off the pitch.

A significant amount of detailed information can be found on the RFU web-site page: - You are urged to read it and take note!

takes the welfare of its players very seriously. Con is important to recognise and manage appropriately, so look below for information relevant to your role, and don’t be a HEADCASE!
CUDRRS members have agreed that our referees should not take any chances and, if in doubt, must not allow a concussed player to carry on playing, whoever suggests that he/she can. They should be placed in the care of a responsible person such as a coach or other club member.

In the case of head (concussion) and neck injuries the referee will ask “is this player fit to continue the match”

In situations where the player cannot continue and there are no suitable responsible persons or no spectators at all, for example in College games, the referee should, before restarting the game, see that the player is kept warm and if necessary see that an ambulance has been called. In this instance he should also ensure that the players ‘club’ is notified.

Procedures for treatment, assessment and subsequent return to active participation in a subsequent fixture are a matter for the County Union and the Clubs.

This article recently appeared in the Daily Mail. It shows we have to discharge our duty of care to players, especially youngsters, very scrupulously:

An inquest has heard that Benjamin Robinson, 14, collapsed on the pitch at Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, in Northern Ireland, in January 2011 and died in hospital from head injuries.

Coroner Suzanne Anderson told an inquest in Belfast she believed the teenager had sustained concussion during a heavy collision with another player at the start of the second half but, despite his injury, had played on for a further 25 minutes.

'I am satisfied that he sustained concussion in the first four minutes of the second half. Unfortunately neither the team coach nor the referee was made aware of his neurological complaints and he continued to play,' Ms Anderson said.

Benjamin, playing for Carrickfergus Grammar School against Dalriada, was involved in two other clashes during the game. In the final minutes he fell to the ground unconscious and, despite frantic efforts by a doctor who had been spectating and medics at the Royal Victoria Hospital, he never recovered. It is exceptionally rare but can affect young people between 14 and 18 whilst engaged in sporting activity.

“This is the first recorded death of its kind in Northern Ireland and most probably the first in the UK”.

Medical science is not able to ascertain why an individual can succumb to this exceedingly rare syndrome although there is some evidence that children are more susceptible to second impact syndrome than adults because their brains cannot recover as well from a minor knock

Referees are not qualified, usually, to diagnose whether a player is suffering from concussion or not. One of our members however, is an army paramedic, and he referred us to guidance about how to identify concussion. You can see it for yourself on the RFU website (

There has been an alarming rise in the number of players suffering concussion during games and our management of these situations is potentially critical to the long term well being of the player.

This matter is of utmost importance and now more than ever you are asked to respect the referee’s decision and give him your utmost support. NONE of us want another Benjamin Robinson.

Related documents

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EASTERN COUNTIES Greene King LEAGUES 2014-2015 Regulations EASTERN COUNTIES Greene King LEAGUES 2014-2015 Regulations
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