Objective To analyse rugby athletes' judgement knowledge and decisions-made where there is the potential to minimise error and prevent injury.
Material and methods A prospective cohort of 300 rugby athletes participated in the Division 2A Senior Rugby All-Ireland Championships in the period of 2010–2011. The athletes came from the Dublin University Football Club and opposing Clubs and the ten match fixtures videoed, injury data were collated with informed consent obtained.
Results Time durations for the scrum had a mean throw in – clearance of 3.128 s (SD 2.109), the tackle, mean clearance time 4.135 s (SD 3.0320) and the lineout, mean throw in – clearance 4.072 s (SD 3.2584). On space dimensions the scrum, short-arm binding was preferred, Fisher's exact test: p-value=0.094 and variations in alignment, p-value=0.056. Of the injury data a Chi-squared test, confirmed significant differences p<0.05 with the hooker compared to the locks in the scrum 33.156 for cervical and lumbar spinal injuries respectively. In open play, loose forwards sustained cervical injuries, p<0.05 due to the tackle compared to midfield backs 28.917 with lower limb injuries attributed to running and being tackled.
Conclusions Judgement analysis on the scrum, tackle, and lineout showed consistent delays in recovery and completion from ball clearances respectively. Variations in alignments occurred with inconsistencies at the post-set in the scrum. In contrast applying Judgement knowledge with reference to the Laws of the Game there is the potential to minimise error and prevent injury.