Concussion Awareness 8 of 8

8. Players and Parents

Players are responsible for their health and should take concussion seriously. Failing to follow the guidance provided 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

The RFU provide a 20 minute online course for players which will explain what concussion is, how it happens and what you can do as a player to avoid injury or return safely to playing following a concussion.

Take the bespoke online course for Teachers, Parent & Guardians which is focussed on youth players and how you can support them to prevent and manage concussion safely.

When you complete the course, you will be able to print off a certificate and submit your details to have the achievement added to your RFU learning record.

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 seen:

  1. Ensure the playing or training area is safe, and the risk of serious head injury occurring is reduced.
  2. Check ground conditions - do not play or train if the ground is frozen solid or rock hard due to drought.
  3. Ensure all posts and barriers on or close to the pitch are protected with appropriate padding.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Protective equipment
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
  • Remove the player from play
  • Recover fully before returning to sport
  • Return only after following the Graduated Return to Play Routine


Concussion - What is Concussion?


Concussion - Concussion in Rugby


Concussion - Information for Players and Parents


Concussion - Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool


Concussion - Headway Advice Leaflet


Concussion - Recovery and Return to Play Routine