The International Rugby Board (IRB) has amended Regulation 10, specifically the protocol for diagnosing and managing concussion. Featured in the amendments are concrete steps to return to play and the requirement for players to be cleared by a medical practitioner before their return to play.
The IRB said in a release last week, “An amendment to Regulation 10, approved by the IRB Council at its Special Meeting of Council in Dublin on Tuesday, May 24, has paved the way for a new robust set of guidelines surrounding concussion that will enhance the protection of players at all levels of the Game.”
USA Rugby Director of Medical Services and Chairman of the Medical and Safety Committee said, “These regulations are a step in the right direction. We in the USA are in a unique position as many of our state laws dictate the process of return to play.
The IRB’s amendments are a great resource and are based on the recommendations of very qualified sports medicine minds. However, we recommend that club administrators, coaches, and SBRO [State-Based Rugby Organizations] executive have the IRB and their state laws to work from. State laws in some cases take precedent over IRB regulation.”
Grounded in extensive research to increase understanding, the new guidelines are now available at the IRB’s dedicated Player Welfare website www.irbplayerwelfare.com.
It is important to note that Regulation 10 and state laws might not be entirely aligned, although they have the common end goal of keeping players, particularly youth players, healthy and safe. It is recommended that club administrators and coaches know their state laws and understand that state law will trump IRB regulations in cases in which protocol is different.
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