Table 1

Pattern of concussion and in-game head contact sanctions at the 2015 and 2019 RWCs and across global competitions in 2018

2015 RWC2018 Monitored
2019 RWCChange from 2018 global to 2019 RWC
Total matches4874945
Concussion incidence (concussions per 1000 player hours)12.517.012.2↓ 28%
Total concussions in tackles1838714
Average tackle number (tackles per match)180195180
Tackle concussion per 1000 tackles (propensity)↓ 37%
Total sanctions rate (Pen, YC and RC per 10 matches)12.113.916.2↑ 17%
YC rate (YCs per 10 matches)↑ 74%
RC rate (RCs per 10 matches)None given0.51.1↑ 138%
Ratio of sanctions to cards issued (sanctions per card)−38%
  • Compared with 2018 global data, RWC 2019 shows a reduction in concussion and, in particular, ‘tackle’ concussions and an increase in sanctions, particularly yellow and red card sanctions for high tackles.

  • RC, red card; RWC, Rugby World Cup; YC, yellow card.