Concussion Management

Rugby NorCal is committed to the health and well-being of our athletes - player safety is far more important than any competitive outcome.  Concussion is a serious brain injury and it is imperative that coaches, athletes, parents, referees and fans treat concussions and suspected concussions with the utmost care.   RNC member clubs and teams are required to follow the RNC’s Concussion Policy, which is based on USA Rugby and World Rugby policy.

Concussion Policy

If an athlete is suspected to have suffered a concussion, s/he will be ineligible to practice or play until the full process below has been completed – this is for the safety and benefit of the athlete and his/her growing brain!  During this period, the athlete will appear as “Medically Ineligible” on all match reports and must not be allowed to practice, play in matches, or engage in any other physical activity.

  1. If an athlete is suspected to have suffered a concussion during a match, the athletic trainer or Emergency Medical Technician (AT/EMT) will remove the athlete from the match and notify the athlete, parents (if present) & coach that the athlete must be sent to the doctor for evaluation.
  2. The AT/EMT will file an injury report.
  3. If a suspected concussion occurs at practice, and an AT/EMT is not present, the coach must file an injury report and notify the Rugby NorCal Player Welfare Program (PWP) Manager cgein@rugbynorcal.org
  4. Upon receipt of the ingury report, the PWP Manager will contact the parent/guardian and coach listed in the athlete's profile in the AdeptSoft CMS for further instruction on concussion management and return to play protocol. It is vital that Parent contact information is updated and accurate in the athlete’s profile in MatchApt.
  5. The injured player must see a doctor asap after the suspected concussion occurred.
    1. If they are cleared of a concussion, the physician can fill out the RNC Physician Concussion Clearance Form which must be submitted to the PWP Manager to return to play.
    2. If they are diagnosed with a concussion they must follow following return to play  protocol.
  6. Concussed player must rest for a minimum of two weeks. This means no physical activity of any kind.
  7. After two weeks, if the player is symptom free, they may continue with the Graduated Return to Play protocol (a physician's clearance to begin the GRTP protocol is recommended).
  8. GRTP is a progressive exercise program to re-introduce athletes to sport following concussion.  Each stage lasts 24 hours for children and the athlete must be without any symptoms in order to progress to the next level of activity.
  9. If they complete the Graduated Return to Play without exhibiting any symptoms, the player must see the doctor again for concussion clearance. The doctor must fill out the RNC Physician Concussion Clearance Form.
  10. The parent/guardian can submit the signed and completed GRTP and doctor's clearance to the Player Welfare Program Manager to clear the athlete and return to play.

Player Welfare Program Manager Contact: Christina Gein cgein@rugbynorcal.org