Rugby players in northern BC will be better treated for any concussion-related injuries thanks to the HeadCheck Health mobile app.
Last month, BC Rugby joined a list of organization’s who will be using the app that will include more concussion tests and data-driven assessments.
This is welcome news for players affiliated with the Prince George Gnats and Williams Lake Rustlers.
Keeping the game as a safe as possible is the top priority.
“It’s another tool we’re using to keep the game safe and we definitely go with a recognize and remove policy as we want to keep our players safe no matter what but like any sport there is going to be some sort of contact much like a car accident and biking,” says Darcy Patterson, Rugby Development Officer.
“It’s just another way BC Rugby is trying to be proactive about head injuries and keep our sport safe for everyone involved and ensure everyone has a long playing career.”
Rustlers player Todd Pritchard believes teaching the proper techniques is also key in avoiding injury.
“A huge part in the safety of the game comes from the proper coaching and proper tackling, how to hit rookies and I think especially younger players when they are starting out often get into the wrong positions and are vulnerable to head contact and head concussions.”
“When we talk about concussions in rugby, a good chunk of them come from your head snapping back off the ground or a concussion from whiplash and I think in contact when you are going shoulder first, usually, you don’t have a problem but if your head is in front of a tackle that is when you get into trouble.”
Pritchard believes programs like HeadCheck are a step in the right direction.
“It’s awesome now that we’ve got the protocol to pull the person off and we do baseline assessments at our club to see what our reaction time is so if somebody does have a head knock, we can check them and see if they are ok.”
Both teams played on Saturday at Duchess Park with the Gnats defeating the Rustlers 64-12.