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Blue Card – concussion management tool for Junior, Schools and Senior Rugby
The Blue Card system, which was trialled in 2017, will be rolled out across all competitions nationally in 2018 ensuring Rugby continues to lead the way in concussion management for individual players.
Team management, medical staff and match officials have always had the responsibility to remove a player from the field if they are presenting signs and symptoms of concussion. The new Blue Card ensures the recording of such an incident, and formally triggers an off-field process to begin.
Once a player is shown a blue card by the match official, they cannot participate any further in the match and are required to undergo a mandatory medical assessment and then follow a set program before returning to Rugby.
Rugby Australia Head of Rugby Services, Lachlan Clark said: “The Blue Card system will be in place across all Rugby nationally from under 13 to National Rugby Championship (NRC) level, enhancing Rugby’s commitment to protecting players from the rare occurrence of concussion.
“There will be ongoing structured education of Match Officials, Medical attendants, Coaches and Team Managers in the signs and symptoms and management of concussion.
“Our commitment to protect players from head injuries is reinforced with strict high tackle laws with the understanding that the head is sacred across all levels of the game. The Blue Card system reinforces that player safety is paramount in our game.”
Said NSW Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps:
"The blue card programme is something that is very close to my heart. One of my great mates from college, Nick Tooth, passed away from a head injury in rugby. His family, amazing people, have been really strong in pushing the blue card programme and I think it’s ultimately the best thing for not only our code, but for any other code that wants to take that on as well.
"Head injuries have previously been such a grey area in the unknown and now it’s so good to see not only the Nick Tooth Foundation but also Rugby AU leading the way in that head trauma area."
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