USA Rugby launches new concussion policy

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2013
BOULDER, Colo. – USA

Rugby has launched a new concussion initiative and policy which emphasizes player welfare and safety as a top priority. The organization's emphasis onsafety is especially true with concussions and head injuries. USA Rugby’s concussion policy is intended to follow the International Rugby Board’s Regulation 10, and follows the “5 Rs” of concussion awareness: Recognize, Remove, Refer, Recover and
Return.

Official USA Rugby Concussion Policy

As part of the USA Rugby policy in accordance with IRB regulations, if a player has suffered a concussion or a suspected concussion, he or she must be immediately removed from play. The player should then be referred to and evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional to determine if the athlete has sustained a concussion. It is imperative that the athlete does not return to play until he or she is symptom-free and has been cleared for return to play by a qualified healthcare professional. USA Rugby strongly recommends that the player complete the GRTP (Graduated Return To Play) procedureprior to return
to full play and competition.

Know the 5 Rs
USA Rugby’s policy requires that ALL rugby players, staff, parents, referees, volunteers, and even fans follow these five basic steps when dealing with suspected concussions:
1. Recognize–
Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion so you understand when an athlete might have a suspected concussion.
2. Remove– If an athlete has a concussion or even a suspected concussion he or she must be
removed from play immediately.
3. Refer – Once removed from play, the player should be referred immediately to a qualified healthcare professional who is trained in evaluating and treating concussions.
4. Recover– Full recovery from the concussion is
required before return to play is authorized. This includes being symptom-free. Rest and some specific treatment options are critical for the health of the injured participant.
5. Return – In order for safe return to play in rugby, the athlete must be symptom-free and cleared in writing by a qualified healthcare professional who is trained in evaluating
and treating concussions. USA Rugby strongly recommends that the athlete complete the GRTP (Graduated Return to Play) protocol.

For more information, and concussion education and resources visit www.usarugby.org/concussions

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Further Information:
Laura Gill | Communications Manager | USA Rugby | lgill@usarugby.org
USA Rugby | 2500 Arapahoe Avenue, #200 | Boulder, CO | 80302

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