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To think sport comes with an element of danger (Rugby)

(227 Posts)
DadKeepsCalm1 Wed 02-Mar-16 17:54:33

In the news today, a group of 70 doctors have written to the government to make rugby a non contact sport at high school.

Although a rougher sport, it really is not that dangerous with the proper equipment and professional supervision.

Also how are we supposed to find new talent, if people are not trained to play proper rugby.

My dss is 16 and plays rugby for his school and its by far my favourite sport. I love watching him play and it would be ashame if the game was spoiled.

RuggerHug Wed 02-Mar-16 18:02:03

Teaching children to play without tackles would be like teaching tennis until 18 but with imaginary balls. Yes there is risk but there's risk with all sports and all life. One player commented today that kids are more likely to damage their backs with massive school bags every day.
I say this as someone who had more concussions from 'life' than from playing rugby. More injuries off the pitch (though I am a clumsy example blush).
DP started playing at 6,7? Learned proper technique and skills and gets damaged now way more than he ever did playing 4 times a week all through school.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 02-Mar-16 18:02:45

On young people's softer heads and bones the damage is worse so no child under 16 should be playing contact rugby.

I also love rugby but the damage to children's brains isn't worth it.

sunnydayinmay Wed 02-Mar-16 18:04:43

I have real issues with this. My ds is Year 7, and started playing at school this year.

He absolutely loves it, and has made the school team, BUT back in November, in his second ever lesson, in a Games lesson in school, he was tackled and landed badly.

By the next morning, he had blurred vision, and we spent a day in A & E, and the eye clinic, with concussion.

The school had no idea he had knocked his head. Neither did he. But my poor lad, who has done a huge amount of non contact sport over the years (and I'm talking about 25 hours a week at times), has never ever had an injury requiring hospital treatment until he placed contact rugby.

So, no, I am not a fan, don't think it makes him tougher, and would far rather they play non contact.

He thinks I'm over reacting.

msrisotto Wed 02-Mar-16 18:06:32

Yes, and sports serves a function. Letting off steam, burning energy, physical contact etc. I think for some kids, this is just what they need. We can't wrap them in kid gloves.

GrouchyKiwi Wed 02-Mar-16 18:06:38

I don't think tackle rugby should be compulsory, as it seems to be at a lot of schools. But those who play rugby for the school should be trained in tackle rugby from 11 or so. If they're properly trained - and want to be playing the game - there's less danger of injury.

pinkcan Wed 02-Mar-16 18:09:01

I don't like rugby, kids should be able to opt out at the very least. My ds was made to try it in school lessons, he was horrified that people were allowed to floor him. He quit those lessons immediately.

Katenka Wed 02-Mar-16 18:09:21

Dd always chooses to do tackle rugby rather than touch at school. I think it would be a shame to stop it.

But she also does kick boxing. She hasn't been injured doing either sport. She did however end up in hospital twice trying to get from one classroom to another, because there are so many kids pushing each other.

I honestly don't think the rugby pitch is anymore dangerous than the rest of the school.

JeremyZackHunt Wed 02-Mar-16 18:09:55

The issue is that it's compulsory rather than voluntary and played by age rather than size. So you could have a huge range of heights and weights flinging themselves at each other without the skills to do it safely (ish)

GrouchyKiwi Wed 02-Mar-16 18:10:56

Yy re age instead of size. That's a massive change that the RFUs here really need to make.

Katenka Wed 02-Mar-16 18:11:29

At our school they choose. Touch or tackle.

Sirzy Wed 02-Mar-16 18:12:16

I would rather see rules about the number of people in the tackle - has to be 1 on 1 or 2 on 1 maybe - and compulsory head guards and things.

I think it is better to safely learn to tackle rather than just introducing it when they are older.

meditrina Wed 02-Mar-16 18:12:31

Some of the BBC article seems wrong

"She said evidence collected over 12 years showed rugby players up to the age of 18 or 19 had a 28% chance of getting injured over a season of 15 matches."

"She added that 90% of injuries resulted in more than seven days lost from school."

So that would mean the typical school player in the seven years of secondary would expect to be injured twice, and that one or both of those would lead to a minimum of 7 school days lost (say a week and a half to two weeks).

That just doesn't seem to fit what I see in my DS's school. Nor indeed what I remember from when I was at school and rugby was less regulated (one serious injury, but that was club not school play; no lengthy absences for other injuries).

boredofusername Wed 02-Mar-16 18:26:09

I've been having a discussion in another forum about this and found myself on the wrong side of the argument (health and safety gone mad, kids need to do sport, I'd rather my ds get concussion than hang around smoking etc).

But I feel differently. There is an alternative to contact rugby - touch or tag rugby so you're not saying no rugby and definitely not saying no sport - there are plenty of sports out there. My ds is 13 and quite small for his age. If you allocated teams by size rather than age I think it would be better but's ludicrous to have boys who aren't quite 5 foot tall playing alongside boys who are knocking on 6 foot tall. Also in state schools most PE teachers are not qualified rugby coaches.

I think schools should move to tag. Or there need to be rules around age/weight/size.

I don't disagree about the school bag issue - no pegs and limited lockers at my son's school, he has to carry everything around with him.

MotherKat Wed 02-Mar-16 18:27:24

Played contact rugby in school, occasional popped rib bruise or strain but never a concussion as proper head placement means it's unlikely.
Hormone from being shoved downstairs by bullies, got one from having a door repeatedly slammed on my head by same bullies, got one from being shoved out of a first floor window (along with a greenstick fracture and torn ligaments).
In the end our schools are terribly unsafe for children but it's people not sports that are to blame.

PirateSmile Wed 02-Mar-16 18:36:14

Rugby is a great game but I think that there is a huge problem with size which the RFU need to address. At about 11 boys start to develop at vastly different rates. You can routinely find games being played with players varying from 4 foot something to well over 6 foot. It isn't just height either. Once a certain stage of puberty is reached, boys develop proper muscles. They are always going to dominate boys who still inhabit their little boy bodies.

Mide7 Wed 02-Mar-16 18:36:43

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I played rugby every season from 6 until 19 and then on and off from then. It taught me a lot and I always thought I'd love to my kids to play.

recently I've been thinking and while playing I had at least 3 concussions, bad enough I cant remember the whole day they happened and numerous bangs to the head that caused headaches. I also dislocated a shoulder and badly sprained an ankle. I don't think I know a rugby player that hasn't had a significant injury.

I just don't think rugby can teach you anything that a less dangerous sport can't. The way rugby has gone since it turned professional is filtering down to lower leagues and youth rugby. It's more about bulk and less about space and passing.

PirateSmile Wed 02-Mar-16 18:38:56

There is also a massive culture of protein shakes/creatine and even steroids in the rush to be big.

GrouchyKiwi Wed 02-Mar-16 18:39:15

I honestly think the UK needs to look at how other countries (especially NZ) do it. There's less emphasis on bulk and more on skills, which makes the game both safer and more fun.

sunnydayinmay Wed 02-Mar-16 18:41:12

Re: size - my ds is a strapping 5 foot 5, which is tall for a year 7. He was tackled by a boy who reaches his shoulder.

Still got concussion...

PirateSmile Wed 02-Mar-16 18:41:15

Totally agree GrouchyKiwi As well as having a safer and more fun game for youngsters, it also seems to translate into pretty good results for the grown ups too wink

meditrina Wed 02-Mar-16 18:42:03

Yes, years 7-9 (at least) are difficult for many sports because some boys are early in their growth spurt and have a more child-like muscle mass and others are far along in puberty and look like men.

It helps if it's either a massive school, or an all boys school, and a whole year group does PE together so there is a chance to group by both size and ability.

I do think you need to learn to tackle safely before reaching full adult stature, so you have the skills before you have the weight/muscle to have the strong collisions.

PirateSmile Wed 02-Mar-16 18:42:14

That can of course happen sunnydayinmay but wait until your ds gets a bit older and you'l see what I'm saying about size...

RuggerHug Wed 02-Mar-16 18:44:11

100% agree GrouchyKiwi ,your lot have absolutely the right idea for how to teach / train kids from birth (almost wink)

GrouchyKiwi Wed 02-Mar-16 18:47:04

It helps that rugby is THE sport, of course, but it is set up well.

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