Abuse

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend as match officials.

Next Monday I have been invited to address the Constituent Body Management Meeting regarding abuse from players, club officials and spectators. They, and the Discipline Team, are working with us to stamp out this scourge on our game.

If you suffer unacceptable behaviour this weekend please let me know chair@northmidsrefs.co.uk by Monday morning at the latest, even if you have submitted the paperwork to Dave Thomas. My request does include when you have dealt with the unacceptable behaviour.

A note for your diary, Neil Chivers is preparing a training session set for Thursday 21st October when he will go through the Society strategy for dealing with abuse.

A tough start to the season, but working together as a team we will soon be on top of it.

ABUSE – Let’s deal with it together

Last week the Board of Directors approved a course of action aimed at dealing with abuse. Not before time, as it turns out. Last weekend was horrible, one game abandoned, in another a YMO was abused and in a third an experienced referee was verbally abused.

WE MUST STOP IT

Please report ALL incidents of abuse even if the club says it will deal with it

There will be a training course delivered on the subject soon. In the meantime please do not post the content on Facebook – we are creating a members only page soon, when you will be able to express your thoughts to your colleagues

World Rugby Press Release

No direct referee implication, for information only

Players, unions and clubs support new guidelines for rugby contact training load

  • Best-practice contact training load guidelines aim to reduce injury risk while maintaining or improving performance
  • New guidelines set out advised weekly limits for full contact training (15 minutes), controlled contact (40 minutes) and live set piece (30 minutes) training
  • Guidelines follow global consultation, including feedback from almost 600 players across elite men’s and women’s competitions, and input from leading strength and conditioning, medical and performance experts
  • They will be underpinned by a review and research programme to drive continuous learning and improvement, and to encourage consistent application across the professional game
  • Guidelines and follow-up research welcomed by players, national unions, global competitions
  • Elite teams, including Leinster, Clermont Auvergne and Benetton Treviso, have signed up to a trial measuring their training and match contact using instrumented mouthguards to monitor effectiveness and inform future advancements

World Rugby and International Rugby Players (IRP) have published new contact training load guidance aimed at reducing injury risk and supporting short and long-term player welfare. The guidance is being supported by national players’ associations, national unions, international and domestic competitions, top coaches and clubs.

Earlier this year, World Rugby unveiled a transformational six-point plan aiming to cement rugby as the most progressive sport on player welfare. These new best-practice guidelines focus on the intensity and frequency of contact training to which professional rugby players should be exposed and have been shaped by consultation with players and coaches as well as leading medical, conditioning and scientific experts.

While the incidence of training injuries is low relative to that of matches, the volume of training performed means that a relatively high proportion (35-40 per cent) of all injuries during a season occur during training, with the majority of these being soft tissue injuries. Since the training environment is highly controllable, the guidelines have been developed to reduce injury risk and cumulative contact load to the lowest possible levels that still allow for adequate player conditioning and technical preparation.

Global study

The guidelines are based on a global study undertaken by IRP of almost 600 players participating across 18 elite men’s and women’s competitions, and a comprehensive review of the latest injury data. This reveals that training patterns vary across competitions, with an average of 21 minutes per week of full contact training and an average total contact load of 118 minutes per week. A more measured and consistent approach to training will help manage the contact load for players, especially those moving between club and national training environments. The research supports minimising contact load in training, in order that players can be prepared to perform but avoid an elevated injury risk at the same time. The guidelines aim to help strike that balance.

New ‘best practice’ training contact guidelines

World Rugby and International Rugby Players’ new framework [INSERT LINK] sets out clear and acceptable contact guidelines for training sessions, aiming to further inform coaches – and players – of best practice for reducing injury risk and optimising match preparation in season. The guidance covers the whole spectrum of contact training types, considering volume, intensity, frequency and predictability of contact, as well as the optimal structure of sessions across the typical training week, including crucial recovery and rest periods.

Recommended contact training limits for the professional game are:

  1. Full contact training: maximum of 15 minutes per week across a maximum of two days per week with Mondays and Fridays comprising zero full contact training to allow for recovery and preparation
  2. Controlled contact training: maximum of 40 minutes per week with at least one day of zero contact of any type
  3. Live set piece training: maximum of 30 minutes set piece training per week is advised

The guidelines, which also consider reducing the overall load for players of particular age, maturity and injury profile (in line with the risk factors and load guidance published in 2019), will feature in the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup player welfare standards.

Instrumented mouthguard research programme to inform effectiveness

World Rugby is partnering with elite teams to measure the ‘real life’ effect of these guidelines (in training and matches) and assess the mechanism, incidence and intensity of head impact events using the Prevent Biometics market-leading instrumented mouthguard technology and video analysis to monitor implementation and measure outcomes.

The technology, the same employed in the ground-breaking Otago Rugby Head Impact Detection Study, will deliver the biggest ever comparable bank of head impact data in the sport with more than 1,000 participants across the men’s and women’s elite, community and age-grade levels. The teams that have signed up so far are multiple Champions Cup winners Leinster, French powerhouse Clermont Auvergne and Benetton Treviso while discussions are ongoing with several other men’s and women’s teams across a range of competitions.

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “This important body of work reflects our ambition to advance welfare for players at all levels of the game. Designed by experts, these guidelines are based on the largest study of contact training in the sport, developed by some of the best rugby, performance and medical minds in the game. We believe that by moderating overall training load on an individualised basis, including contact in season, it is possible to enhance both injury-prevention and performance outcomes, which is good for players, coaches and fans.”

World Rugby Director of Rugby and High Performance and former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt added: “Training has increasingly played an important role in injury-prevention as well as performance. While there is a lot less full contact training than many people might imagine, it is our hope that having a central set of guidelines will further inform players and coaches of key considerations for any contact that is done during training.

“These new guidelines, developed by leading experts and supported by the game, are by necessity a work in progress and will be monitored and further researched to understand the positive impact on player welfare. We are encouraged by the response that we have received so far.

“We recognise that community level rugby can be an almost entirely different sport in terms of fitness levels, resources and how players can be expected to train, but the guidelines can be applied at many levels, especially the planning, purpose and monitoring of any contact in training.”

International Rugby Players Chief Executive Omar Hassanein said the guidelines are being welcomed by players: “From an International Rugby Players’ perspective, this project represents a significant and very relevant piece of work relating to contact load. We’ve worked closely with our member bodies in gathering approximately 600 responses from across the globe, allowing us to have sufficient data to then be assessed by industry experts. The processing of this data has led to some quite specific recommendations which are designed to protect our players from injuries relating to excessive contact load. We will continue to work with World Rugby as we monitor the progress of these recommendations and undertake further research in this area.”

Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster, who was involved in reviewing the study and advising the development of the guidelines, said: “We have a responsibility to make the game as safe as possible for all our players. For coaches, optimising training plays a significant role in achieving that objective. It is important that we do not overdo contact load across the week in order that players are fresh, injury-free and ready for match days. These guidelines provide a practical and impactful approach to this central area of player preparation and management.”

World Rugby is also progressing a wide-ranging study of the impact of replacements on injury risk in the sport with the University of Bath in England, a ground-breaking study into the frequency and nature of head impacts in community rugby in partnership with the Otago Rugby Union, University of Otago and New Zealand Rugby, and further research specific to the professional women’s game. All of these priority activities will inform the decisions the sport makes to advance welfare for players at all levels and stages.

Club Cards

Just a reminder, the grading team do ask that you hand out club cards to each captain every week. The vast majority of those filling in the cards do so honestly and fairly so please keep handing them out.

Need more cards contact John Holland either by text 07962 913980 or email him at Johnholland@talktalk.net

Reviewer/Developer meeting 17 Oct

The Reviewer/Developer Team will be hosting a session open to all members of the Society on the 17th October.

Have you ever wondered what the role of the Reviewers/Developers’ (previously called ‘Watchers’ or ‘Assessors’) is and what this entails for you …… well this is your opportunity to find out.

This session is open to anyone interested in becoming a Developer, but is a MUST for all current Reviewers/Developers. All those intending to attend must ensure that they familiarise themselves with the documents below as they will form part of the training session.

Looking forward to seeing you all

When: Sunday 17 October, 2-4pm

Where: Dudley Kingswinford RFC, Swindon Rd, Wall Heath, Kingswinford DY6 0AW

Please ensure that all current and potential Reviewer/Developers have downloaded and read the documents below (by clicking on the links)

To confirm your attendance please complete the short form below by 8th October