World Rugby welcomes the ground-breaking development of cross-sport standard concussion guidelines in Scotland.
The guidelines are based on World Rugby’s guidance for the general public document and have been developed into a cross-sport protocol in Scotland by leading experts, including World Rugby’s independent concussion advisor Dr Willie Stewart, and Scottish Rugby Union medical experts.
World Rugby’s message to everyone involved in sport is to recognise the symptoms of concussion and immediately and permanently remove any player displaying clear symptoms or suspected of having sustained a concussion.
World Rugby Chief Medical Officer Martin Raftery said: “We are honoured that our concussion guidance document for the general public has underpinned these cross-sport Scottish guidelines. The Scottish Government and the experts involved in developing these recommendations should be congratulated for being the first nation to achieve this objective.
“In applying to all levels of sport from the playground to the podium will foster further consistency of management and education no matter what sport is being played.
“The cross-sport approach is the way forward for sport, for schools and communities and we commend the Scottish authorities for taking the initiative and look forward to implementation.”
World Rugby’s concussion advisor Dr Willie Stewart added: “Where World Rugby demonstrated the success of developing clear grassroots guidance in concussion, this cross-sport Scottish evolution of concussion guidance builds on that success, recognising that concussions can happen in any activity, and should be managed the same way, irrespective of the sport.”
The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) were a driving force behind the cross-sport guidelines and will be at the forefront of their roll-out across Scotland.
SRU Head of Medical Services Dr James Robson said: “Scottish Rugby has for many years been working with like-minded institutions and experts to put player welfare to the forefront of our sport. The launch of national guidelines for the recognition and management of concussion across all sports in Scotland marks a new standard in collaborative care, and one which I hope others will copy. World Rugby should be proud that the guidance is underpinned by the good work done under their auspices.”
World Rugby continues to consult with other sporting bodies regarding a common approach to player welfare management, including concussion, to benefit everyone involved in sport.
Raftery added: “Sport plays a major and positive role in developing and shaping children. At a time when inactivity is the major risk to health, we should be encouraging and promoting sports participation and these guidelines further reassures parents that sports and society has the welfare of the children at heart.”