Head Contact Process (HCP)

World Rugby has launched the Head Contact Process (HCP) to assist the sanctioning process for contact with the head and neck, underscoring the sport’s commitment to head injury prevention.

The HCP is an evolution of the High Tackle Sanction Framework, which supported rugby’s ambition of reducing the risk of head injury through stronger and more consistent on and off field sanctioning of high-risk tackle actions, in turn encouraging a positive change in player behaviour.

The scope for sanction consideration has been broadened within the HCP to include all illegal head and neck contact, including dangerous clean-outs, head-on-head collisions and head contact which arises from ball carriers leading with an elbow or forearm, in addition to high tackles and shoulder charges.

The HCP came into effect on 10 March 2021.

Further information about the new Law Application Guideline, including a downloadable PDF version of the guide, videos of head contacts that are foul play and those that are not, plus guidance as to how to interpret and implement the HCP can be found here.

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