What is a concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury induced by biomechanical forces. Like other contact sports, rugby union has a risk of traumatic brain injuries. A person does not have to lose consciousness to be concussed, with only around 1 in 10 resulting in a person losing consciousness. Symptoms of concussion can include (but not limited to) head aches, sleep disturbance, vertigo, amnesia, irritability, slow reactions and poor balance.
Post-concussion syndrome affects between thirty-eight and eighty percent of those who suffer mild head trauma meaning they will be symptomatic for extended periods of time (Hall, Hall and Chapman 2005).
Concussions in youth rugby union
The Risk of concussion in youth rugby between 0.2 and 6.9 per 1000 playing hours or a 7.7% probability of being concussed per season (Kirkwood et al. 2015). Pfister et al. (2016) found that rugby had the highest risk of concussion within their systematic review of youth sportsin the United States.