The Injured Players Foundation works with a number of partners to produce preventative or promotional resources that could help to reduce rugby related injuries as well as inform future law changes.
We have a number of current research projects including:
This study, funded by the IPF is being undertaken on our behalf by Bath University. They are investigating the cause of injuries within youth community and academy rugby to determine if the occurrence and severity etc is comparable between different ages and also levels of participation.
Over 400 players have fully taken part in this study, and we will compare the results with those from studies of injuries in senior professional rugby.
The IPF supports the RFU's game-wide community injury surveillance project which collects injury data from over 100 grass-roots clubs. Key findings this year are:
Prof Andrew Sparkes has been working with IPF clients over the last year on an IPF-funded project to establish how players and their families come to terms with the changes a catastrophic injury makes to their lives:
We are supporting a masters research project investigating the awareness of concussion and the guidelines available for the management of this injury. This will inform us if more promotional and educational work is required to ensure players, coaches schools and clubs are fully aware of the signs, symptoms and necessary practice involved with concussion injuries.
We are working with the IRB and other National Governing Bodies to examine catastrophic injuries which occur in Rugby Union throughout the world. By sharing information and resources we can get a much clearer picture of how and why these injuries happen and investigate ways to reduce their ocurrence.
We also work closely with the coaching and refereeing departments amongst others at the RFU to ensure their training courses include the relevant player safety elements.
Everyone involved in rugby has a role to play in making the game enjoyable and above all as safe as possible. Those who hold a coaching position or have a volunteer role providing pitch side care also have a specific responsibility to provide a safe and competent level of care to any injured player.
Rugby is a contact sport and in common with all contact sports, playing the game carries a risk of injury and while serious injuries are rare, those involved will need to be prepared to deal with the full range of incidents that could occur on the training ground or pitch.