SRUSR recommends that all society match officials should complete the RFU’s online Headcase training and should pass the test at the end of the course.
The welfare of players is paramount, while concussion is not always a visible injury it is important that we are cautious following a suspected concussion and that it is treated appropriately.
Suspected concussions should be taken seriously, with appropriate time allowed to fully recover. A second concussion occurring before recovery of the first can result in prolonged symptoms that can have a significant impact on the player.
Match officials have an important role in the prevention and management of concussion. Through the correct and consistent application of the laws of the game they can influence players’ and their coaches’ behaviour towards concussion.
HEADCASE ONLINE AWARENESS MODULE
The free online HEADCASE match official concussion education module explains what concussion is, how it happens and what your role as a match official is in helping the prevention and management of concussion.
All community game matches and training involving adult male and female players and all age grade activities must adhere to regulation 9, which states “any individual who exhibits any of the signs or symptoms of concussion should be immediately and permanently removed safely from the field of play, should not return to play that day, and it is recommended that they are referred to a medical or healthcare professional for assessment and advice.”
Therefore, even if a player is cleared to play by a pitch-side doctor or medic and you are concerned that they continue to show signs or symptoms of concussion you should remind the doctor/medic of their responsibilities to the player and you are within your rights, under Law 3, to remove the player from the game.
This must be adhered to irrespective of the qualification/profession of the individual providing the pitch-side first aid and/or immediate care provision.
A player removed from playing with a suspected head injury can now be replaced by a player who has been previously tactically substituted.