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Concussions and Protecting Our Players

Strewthcobber

Mark Ella (57)
Would like to a bit more about that.

Could it be that research comes from American football??

I could imagine a hard helmet transferring force to the neck but hard to see how soft headgear could do that.

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What some of the research shows is that headgear wearers are more likley to approach collisions at a higher speed more often, using their heads and so they expose themselves to higher energy collisions more often.

World Rugby actually limit the thickness and density of headgear to the point where it can't absorb sufficient energy to prevent concussion to discouragae use of the head in this way.

I understand the reason they do this is not for forces which the headgear absorbs, but for when the headgear reaches it's maximum effectiveness - it's completely deflected and all of the force is being transmitted through to the wearer - which happens more than you'd expect out on the field.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314393/
According to the IRB (unpublished data, June 2003), the reason for the lower limit (200g) is because headgear that perform under this threshold could cause players to use their heads more, risking cervical spine injury.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
There is no doubt NFL players use their heads as a weapon.

I think it is pretty sensible that headgear isn't made that it could start doing the same.
 

Gnostic

Mark Ella (57)
Soccer ball headed has high velocity collision without concussion but what is the cumulative effect?
How do you know they do not suffer concussive symptoms from these impacts? Looking back when I played the game I certainly did.
 

The Honey Badger

Jim Lenehan (48)
A French D2 player has collapsed & died in the change room after being "stunned" in a legit tackle. Irrespective of what the autopsy says I think it will inevitably add to the growing pressure on WR to "do something" about head injuries.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/i...h-player-dies-in-dressing-room-after-friendly
Interesting quote from article :

Players were often opting to take the collision even when space was available, Magne said.

I sure this is coached in the modern game.




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Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
Soccer ball headed has high velocity collision without concussion but what is the cumulative effect?

I suspect a very under-reported problem Runner.

As neuropsychologist Dr. Jeffery Barth pointed out, “We sometimes speak in very broad strokes about the problems of soccer heading and that it may be causing significant neurologic problems, but it may not be the heading that is doing this. It may be the fact that two players go up for the same ball and hit their heads together, which clearly would cause significantly more impairment.”
Several speakers noted that players who frequently head the ball tend to be aggressive players and their aggressiveness may make them more susceptible to head collisions with other players. Other frequent causes of concussions in soccer players are head collisions with other players or goalposts or falls where their heads hit the ground, according to Dr. Kirkendall.
Compared to other contact sports, head injuries are common in soccer. In neuropsychologist Dr. Jill Brooks' study of high school soccer players, she found that more than one quarter of them had experienced one or more concussions. Neuropsychologist Dr. Ruben Echemendia reported that in his study of college athletes, over 40 percent of the soccer players had at least one concussion prior to attending college. By comparison, only 30 percent of the incoming football players in the same study reported having had a concussion.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK220609/
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
And more:

Head injuries in soccer may result from two possible mechanisms (5, 19). As in other contact sports, head injuries mostly result from unintentional hits with the head and hits to the head from different body parts of players (head to head, elbow to head), hitting the head against the ground, football goal frame or even hits received by the ball, when the ball flies and hits the unprepared player with great speed (5,19-21). The other reason for head injuries in soccer includes forces that are below the level required to trigger the symptoms of concussion. In such cases, the terms microtrauma and subconcussive brain trauma are used (5,22, 23). Such injuries result from intentional bouncing of the ball with the aim of controlling and re-directing or even accelerating its movement towards a target (5, 19). The impact of such subconcussive brain injuries is most probably cumulative and chronic, but less acute. The number of hits with the head is also important. It was found that professional players hit the ball with their head between six to sixteen times per match. The more successful the players, the more exposed they are to high intensity training and higher frequency of matches. For a footballer’s professional career, which last up to 20 years, this represents an important cumulative burden of hits with the head (19-21, 25).
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5723188/
 

waiopehu oldboy

George Gregan (70)
WR won't be pursuing the nipple-line Law change as apparently the refs at the U20's RWC found it too hard to tell if tackles were above or below it:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/news/article.cfm?c_id=80&objectid=12132572

Beats me how they're going to legislate against upright tackles (how upright is upright?) & can you imagine the uproar the first time a concussed tackler cops a suspension? I think they need to go away & come back with something that might actually work.
 

Derpus

John Eales (66)
WR won't be pursuing the nipple-line Law change as apparently the refs at the U20's RWC found it too hard to tell if tackles were above or below it:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/news/article.cfm?c_id=80&objectid=12132572

Beats me how they're going to legislate against upright tackles (how upright is upright?) & can you imagine the uproar the first time a concussed tackler cops a suspension? I think they need to go away & come back with something that might actually work.
Good news, was all a bit over the top.
 

Wilson

Jim Lenehan (48)
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/news/article.cfm?c_id=80&objectid=12132572

Beats me how they're going to legislate against upright tackles (how upright is upright?) & can you imagine the uproar the first time a concussed tackler cops a suspension? I think they need to go away & come back with something that might actually work.

Will probably depend a bit on what that suspension is - concussion is a mandatory week off already so 1-2 weeks won't seem like much more than return to play protocols. If they got the concussion by clashing heads with the player they're trying to tackle than I think it's a pretty valid suspension anyway, and could be much longer - they put the other player at risk as much as themselves, just their bad luck to be the one concussed by it.
 

waiopehu oldboy

George Gregan (70)
^^^^^^^ I'm not so sure that people will see it that way & it's more likely to be "WTF? Guy gets concussed AND suspended? Aren't we meant to be doing something about head injuries?".
 

Wilson

Jim Lenehan (48)
I get what you're saying, I think the public perception may depend on the player - if the test case involves a player with a history of infringement (or concussion) it'll probably go down much easier. At the end of the day attacking the head is attacking the head, even if you use your own to do it. As it stands a tackle resulting in a head clash is already technically illegal, it's just never enforced. I'm all for them cracking down on that, even if there's a public perception battle to fight.
 

Ignoto

Ken Catchpole (46)
For those interested in a pretty lengthy read, Ross Tucker is a Sports Scientist who's been working with World Rugby and gave a talk on how behavioral nudging can be used to reduce concussions in Rugby.

He's broken his slides and put text around each slide explaining what they are trying to do;
https://sportsscientists.com/2018/1...concussion-risk-in-rugby-a-process-explained/

There's some pretty interesting take-aways in there especially the out of game high tackle warning. It also explains the murmurings we heard about why they were going to reduce the legal contact height.
 

MungoMan

Sydney Middleton (9)
For those interested in a pretty lengthy read, Ross Tucker is a Sports Scientist who's been working with World Rugby and gave a talk on how behavioral nudging can be used to reduce concussions in Rugby.

He's broken his slides and put text around each slide explaining what they are trying to do;
https://sportsscientists.com/2018/1...concussion-risk-in-rugby-a-process-explained/

There's some pretty interesting take-aways in there especially the out of game high tackle warning. It also explains the murmurings we heard about why they were going to reduce the legal contact height.

A big Ta for posting that. Most interesting. And I shall watch it again...
 

Strewthcobber

Mark Ella (57)
Kind of fits here.
Eng prems and RFU have agreed on some player welfare guidelines

The key announcements include:

Guaranteed in-season breaks for players in each of the three seasons.

Mandatory five-week post-season rest for all players, which includes two weeks' absolute rest and three weeks' active rest. Minimum 10 weeks off/pre-season for players in the England Senior Elite Player Squad.

Minimum 12 weeks between the Premiership final and round one of the following league season.

Maximum 35 match involvements (more than 20 minutes) in any one season for all players.

Maximum 30 full game equivalents (reduced from 32) in any one season for all players.

England players to have a mandatory rest week if playing all international matches and more than 65% of total minutes (reduced from 80%).
 

Derpus

John Eales (66)
^^^^^
Soccer players get more rest. Not as many games but no where near as much wear and tear.

Southern Hemisphere has them beat on player welfare, easily.
 

waiopehu oldboy

George Gregan (70)
FFR want the tackle line lowered to waist high AND the tackler have to bend at the waist AND all tackles to be one-on-one. Sounds like a recipe for lots of tacklers taking knees & hips to the head (and ball carriers coached to go into contact with head lowered & knees raised NFL-style) to me:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby...-french-federation-after-young-players-deaths

I get that having three young players (one of them a tackler) die in a short space of time is awful but this just isn't the answer IMO. All the available research tells us it's the tackler who's most at risk so why would you want to increase that risk?
 
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