Concussion Guidance

ARU Concussion Guidance (Rugby Public) 2014

The Australian Rugby Union provides guidance regarding concussion which applies to everyone involved in Rugby across Australia.

At all times, players, parents, coaches and officials need to act in the best interest of player safety and welfare by taking responsibility for the recognition, removal and referral of players to a medical doctor and then ensuring concussion is appropriately managed according to the guidelines.

Under the guidelines:

  • Recognise and Remove – Any player suspected or recognised with concussion must be removed from training and playing and not return to Rugby or other sport or physical activity on the same day.
  • Refer – Any player suspected or recognised with concussion must see a medical doctor as soon as possible.
  • Rest – Players diagnosed with concussion must rest completely until all signs and symptoms of concussion have disappeared.
  • Recover – The concussed player must first recover from all signs and symptoms of concussion at rest and return to activities of normal daily living before starting exercise.
  • Return – Players return to contact training and games following the ‘Graduated Return to Play’ protocol.

People involved in Rugby should familiarise themselves with the full guidelines outlined in:

  • Australian Rugby Union Concussion Guidance (Rugby Public) (pdf - 131kb) – this document provides guidance on concussion to those involved in rugby union in Australia, and incorporates recent changes to the IRB document entitled ‘IRB Concussion Guidance for the General Public’, which was published on the IRB website on 22 May 2014. 

This summary is prepared specifically for the rugby public and is not a medical document.     

Additional Concussion Resources

  • Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool (pdf - 526kb) – The PocketCRT can be utilised on-field or on the sideline to aid in recognising the visible clues, and signs and symptoms of concussion. Players suspected of having concussion must be removed from play or training and should be referred to Medical Practitioner or Emergency Department for further assessment and diagnosis.
  • Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT3) (pdf - 907kb) – The SCAT3 is a standardized tool for evaluating injured athletes for concussion and can be used in athletes aged from 13 years and older. For use by medical professionals only.
  • Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (ChildSCAT3) (pdf - 442kb) – Sport Concussion Assessment Tool for children ages 5 to12 years. The ChildSCAT3 is a standardized tool for evaluating injured children for concussion. For use by medical professionals only.

Research Collaboration Application

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) Concussion Advisory Group (CAG) has developed a process to support research collaboration around concussion in rugby union. Collaboration applications, together with ethics approval from a recognized academic institution, are reviewed by the CAG. Each application is assessed on it's merit and practical implementation.

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