RugbyAthletes and the Prevention of Injuriies; an Analysis on Judgement knowledge and Decisions-made

H. R. Broughton, S. D. Cromie, T. J. Trimble, J. Cummiskey, D. Corri


Objective: To analyse rugby athletes’ judgement knowledge and decisions-made where there is the potential to minimise error and prevent injury.

Material and methods: A prospective cohort of 300 rugby athletes participated in the Division 2A Senior Rugby All-Ireland Championships in the period of 2010 – 2011. The athletes came from the Dublin University Football Club and opposing Clubs, ten match fixtures videoed, injury data were collated with informed consent obtained.

Results: Time durations for the scrum had a mean throw in – clearance of 3.128s (SD 2.109), the tackle, mean clearance time 4.135s (SD 3.0320) and the lineout, mean throw in –clearance 4.072s (SD 3.2584). On space dimensions the scrum, short-arm binding was preferred, Fisher’s exact test: p-value = 0.094 and variations in alignment, p-value = 0.056. Of the injury data a Chi-squared test, confirmed significant differences p < 0.05 with the hooker compared to the locks in the scrum 33.156 for cervical and lumbar spinal injuries respectively. In open play, loose forwards sustained cervical injuries, p < 0.05 due to the tackle compared to midfield backs 28.917 with lower limb injuries attributed to running and being tackled.

Conclusion: Judgement analysis on the scrum, tackle, and lineout showed consistent delays in recovery and completion from ball clearances respectively. Variations in alignments occurred with inconsistencies at the post-set in the scrum. In contrast applying Judgement knowledge with reference to the Laws of the Game there is the potential to minimise error and prevent injury.


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