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High school rugby players’ understanding of concussion and return to play guidelines
  1. Garry Sye1,
  2. S John Sullivan2,
  3. Paul McCrory3
  1. 1Kennedy Road Physiotherapy, Napier, New Zealand
  2. 2University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  3. 3University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Sullivan
 University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; sjohn.sullivan{at}


Objective: To document high school players’ understanding and attitudes towards concussion return to play guidelines.

Methods: A questionnaire based survey was performed of national high school rugby players as to their knowledge of existing concussion return to play guidelines.

Results: A total of 600 male players were surveyed, and 477 responded (response rate 80%). Half (237/477) were aware of concussion guidelines, and 60% (288/477) identified the mandated stand down period that is part of the regulations governing rugby football. Players obtained their information primarily from: teachers/coaches (239 responses), medical personnel (200), and other players (116). Of those players who suspected that they had been concussed (296/477, 62%), only 66 returned to play after medical clearance.

Conclusions and implications: This sample of high school players showed a limited knowledge of the concussion guidelines covering their sport, and even when concussed did not follow recommended protocols. This indicates the need for an increased focus on player education.

  • rugby
  • schoolboy
  • concussion
  • guidelines
  • return to play

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  • Competing interests: None declared.