Click to download the Rio Report


Winchester Rugby Football Club places player welfare and safety at the very top of our list of priorities. This is especially true regarding concussions and head injuries. While not common or frequent at the tag levels of play, concussions may occur at all of levels of play.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury and is defined by the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sports (2012) as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain and induced by biomechanical forces. Several common features that incorporate clinical, pathologic, and biomechanical injury constructs that may be utilized in defining the nature of a concussive head injury include the following:

Concussion may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or else whereon the body with an "impulsive" force transmitted to the head.
Concussion typically results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurologic function that resolves spontaneously. However, in some cases, symptoms and signs may evolve over a number of minutes, hours, or days.

Concussion may result in neuropathological changes, but the acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury with no abnormality seen on standard structural neuroimaging studies.

Concussion results in a graded set of clinical symptoms that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Resolution of the clinical and cognitive symptoms typically follows a sequential course. It is important to note, however, that symptoms may be prolonged in some cases.

In accordance with Commonwealth of Virginia, USA Rugby and World Rugby regulations, if a player has suffered a concussion or a suspected concussion, he or she will be immediately removed from play. The player is then to be referred to and evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional to determine if the athlete has sustained a concussion. It is imperative that the athlete does not return to play until he or she is symptom-free and has been cleared for return to play by a qualified healthcare professional.

A qualified health care professional means physician, physician assistant, osteopath physician, or athletic trainer licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine; a neurophysiologist licensed by the Board of Psychology; or a Nurse Practitioner licensed by the Virginia State Board of Nursing.

After the player has been cleared, WRFC will utilize a modified version of World Rugby's Return to Play Protocol which is a six (6) step process of gradual re-introduction into competitive rugby (see dropdown tab labeled Graduated Return To Play under SAFETY tab).


Winchester Youth Rugby