Richmond Head Injury and Concussion Guidance

Richmond Head Injury and Concussion Guidance

The welfare of players with a head injury and/or suspected concussion is taken very seriously at Richmond Rugby. We encourage all players, coaches, team managers, first aiders and parents to read this summary of the England Rugby guidance.

Then please read England Rugby's dedicated web page on concussion - HEADCASE - where you can take a concussion awareness course and familiarise yourself with what best practice looks like.

This page is based on the England Rugby concussion programme - HEADCASE - and summarises some key points and provides links for further information.

In April 2023 the England Rugby concussion processes were reviewed in line with the UK Government's Concussion Guidelines for Grassroots Sport.

This unified approach across all grassroots sports recommends that:

  • all those suspected of sustaining a concussion be assessed by an appropriate health care professional or call 111 within 24hrs of the injury
  • players follow a graduated return to activity and sport with an emphasis on an early progressive return to activity and a recommendation to see an appropriate healthcare professional if symptoms persist after 28 days
  • the earliest an individual should return to competition is 21 days and only then if they have been symptom free for the preceding 14 days.

If during a match or training there is a concern that a player has concussion they should be REMOVED from the field of play. They should only return to play after a period of time to RECOVER, per the protocol below:

The stages of the HEADCASE concussion protocol are as follows

STAGE 1: Initial Relative Rest - 24 - 48 hours after concussion
STAGE 2: Return to Daily Activities & Light Physical Activities - Following 24 - 48 hours initial rest period (min 24 hours after concussion event)
STAGE 3: Aerobic Exercise & Low Level Body Weight Resistance Training - When symptoms allow e.g., mild symptoms are not worsened by daily activities/light physical activities
STAGE 4: Rugby-Specific Non-contact Training Drills & Weight Resistance Training - No earlier than Day 8

Note: ONLY move to Stage 5 when SYMPTOM FREE AT REST from recent concussion for 14 days

STAGE 5: Full Contact Practice - No earlier than Day 15

Note: ONLY move to Stage 6 when symptom free at rest for the 14 days and during pre-competition training (Stage 5)

STAGE 6: Return to Play - No earlier than Day 21

Resources available on the HEADCASE web page...

  • Concussion recognition tools with versions for children and adults. These are designed for use by anyone (not just medical professionals).
  • An open-to-all concussion awareness training module which will prepare everyone involved in rugby with the skills to help players with suspected concussion.
  • Full details of the HEADCASE Graduated Return to Activity and Sport (GRAS) process which provides a step by step guide on the NEW return to play programme.
  • Links to the research that resulted in these new concussion protocols.
  • Links to World Rugby's laws and other resources.

Here's a link to a downloadable pitch-side concussion guide.

NHS guidance for head injuries and concussion is here.