Concussion Return-to-Play Protocols: Rugby


Spend 1-2 days at each level before moving to the next. 

If you develop symptoms, NOTIFY YOUR COACH OR TRAINER IMMEDIATELY. Rest one day, then resume at previous level.

  • LEVEL 1 - Light aerobic exercise (increase heart rate); Begin running, < 70% effort. Begin with 5-10 minutes, 10 min of rest, then another 5-10 minutes. Following days, gradually increase time up to 30 minutes continuous.

  • LEVEL 2 - Sport specific exercise (add movement). Advance to full speed running, carrying. Begin skills practice (passing, catching, kicking). Begin agility.

  • LEVEL 3 - Progress to Non-contact training drills (exertion, coordination, cognitive load). Multiple player (2 or more) non-contact drills. Leg drive against pad. Agility and conditioning drills. May begin resistance training.

  • LEVEL 4 - Full contact training after medical clearance. Live drills (tackling, ruck, scrum). Full team scrimmage. If you are able to train at Level 4 without symptoms, you may proceed to Level 5.

  • LEVEL 5 - Game play (may return to full participation)

Note: These return to play protocols are patterned after the generic return to play protocol proposed by the 4th International Conference on Concussion(1), and may differ from the UIL recommended protocol.

(1) McCrory P, Meeuwisse WH, Aubry M, et al.  Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012.  Br J Sports Med 2013; 47: 250-258.