Blue card to protect rugby player

Image: 123RF/Wavebreak Media Ltd

Rugby has yellow and red cards, white cards were trialed before, and now prepare yourself for the blue card.

The latest initiative by SA Rugby is aimed at targeting and managing the scourge of concussion in the game.

The blue card, which signals players who need to be removed from the field due to a concussion or suspected concussion, will be rolled out at all levels of the game.

The only exception will be elite adult tournaments or matches where world rugby has approved the use of HIA (head injury assessments).

The blue card, which serves as a visual aid on correct
on-field concussion management, has been implemented successfully at the SA Rugby Youth Weeks in the past two years.

This has prompted it to be extended to school and club level, the SA rugby junior provincial championships and the Currie Cup first division.

The decision was made in consultation with medical experts, key rugby safety stakeholders and SA Rugby's rugby department.

The blue card concussion system works on the "recognise and remove" principle and enforces the immediate removal of the player from the match.

It is also included in the BokSmart 6 rugby safety programme courses, which commences its roll-out in July, and will reach all rugby coaches and referees around the country over a two-year period.

Jon Patricios, a professor in sports medicine who also serves as a specialist consultant for both World Rugby and SA Rugby on concussion matters, lauded the roll-out of the Blue Card:

"Implementation of the Blue Card system represents another significant milestone in SA Rugby's injury intervention programme - BokSmart.

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