The International Rugby Board met last spring to make changes to the concussion protocol for their sport. I had opined that rugby could have been in trouble with the incidence of concussion in their sport. However I must say (after finally following up on it) the IRB has at least made it perfectly clear on how concussions will be handled for rugby;
And return to play;
And now rugby once deemed behind the times when it came to concussions is ahead of the NFL and NHL in this issue. If for nothing else being transparent with the proper protocols.
I hope these are new protocols and not ones that were in use for the most recent championship on television.
One situation stands out, similar to the recent Dielman fiasco. Game stops with one player behind the play on one knee wobbly trying not to fall over. Medical person runs on to the field, kneels down in front of the player and proceeds to apply an ice pack (old fashion kind with the screw on cap) to the back of his head. After about 10 seconds, player gets up and stays in the game.
The above is about as laughable a medical treatment as the infamous “cold spray”.
Hopefully these new protocols for rugby were not in effect yet , or else it’s just a sham, like “dirt in the facemask”.
If it only it were true. In the Rugby World Cup final, Morgan Parra of France was, if not concussed, certainly well within the definition of suspected concussion under the regulations. He left the pitch – and then came back on, five minutes later, only to get another knock to the head and leave the game permanently.
This in the biggest game in world rugby. As clear a failure to apply the regulations could not have been imagined. Nor, as the case of Australian scrum-half Will Genia in the Tri-Nations championships showed, was it the only one; Genia had two suspected concussions in training in the week before the Tri-Nations final, yet played in that final, in complete violation of the GRTP Protocol you have above.
For more, you might like to look at the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine blog who picked up on my comments on this on my own blog (the Rugby Law blog cited in the text)
Thank you and apparently in my haste to spread the “good work” of IRB, it has once again been completely disregarded for winning… If it is OK with you I may take some of your quotes on this as a highlight to an upcoming post about A RIGHT DECISION in high school football in one of the biggest games of the year…
Feel free. There are – unfortunately – quite a few posts on the blog on the topic. The irony is, rugby in NZ led the way on pitch-side concussion management; if you’d done this in domestic NZ rugby, or in SA (the referee was South African), chances are you’d have been dragged over the coals for it.