Steve Thompson et al

timmad

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Will the case(s) brought by Steve Thompson and others against the Union(s) mean the end of the game as we know it?
Every sympathy to anyone suffering from dementia and similar diseases potentially caused by rugby injuries / practices but do players tacitly accept the risks when they take up the game, particularly if they turn professional?
What can the game do to lessen the risks while still maintaining the essential nature of the game?
Many other questions about this, association football, and NFL.
 

OB..


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There is a legal precept "Volenti non fit injuria", which basically says "if you accepted the normal risk of doing something, you cannot blame anybody else if you get hurt". The applicability in sport is hotly argued - particularly with respect to boxing.

Arguments rage around whether or not participants were really made aware of the risks etc. Applying today's standards to things that happened in the past is always fraught with problems.
 

Marc Wakeham


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I started reffing after the 2003 RWC. Was a spectator before that and retired for some time from playing. What was the awareness at that time about the risks of Concussion. I was aware of it but not via rugby so amd unsure about the knowledge within the sport.
 

Harry

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Surely everything else you do or have done must be taken into account. I had a brain tumour removed ten years ago, but I've Been an amateur boxer, martial artist and 3rd team prop. But for 25 years I used a two way radio for my job. Who would I sue ?
 

SimonSmith


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Well, I think they have a better than 0 chance of winning something.

As to whether that changes anything in the modern game, that is a separate question. This is a case based on historic practice, not modern ones.
One telling point is that Barry ODriscoll has alleged that the WR changing of concussion protocols, from a three week sit down to a one week, was not grounded in any kind of science. His testimony will, if he is called, be hugely challenging for WR.

I suspect that the nature of the game will remain largely unchanged. Expect tighter HIA protocols, and at the Elite level some kind of mandate about the amount of contact work that can be done in practice.

(I will be honest though. Leigh Halfpenny can have no case to make here at all. 95% of all his head issues are because he refuses to amend his tackle technique and he puts his head in the wrong place)
 

Marc Wakeham


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The worrying thing about Halfpenny is this, why are the coaching staff telling him: "Sort it out or you're dropped!"?
 

crossref


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there is a lot of difference between the amateur game , and a professional where employment etc comes in

the issue for the pro game (I think) is the HIA -- a mechanism for returning players who have bashed their head back to the field of play
 

didds

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The worrying thing about Halfpenny is this, why are the coaching staff telling him: "Sort it out or you're dropped!"?


Yup. This entirely.

It has to be a deliberate policy by the player, and at least tacitly accepted by the entire staff surrounding him at both club and national level.
 

crossref


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I suspect that the nature of the game will remain largely unchanged. Expect tighter HIA protocols, and at the Elite level some kind of mandate about the amount of contact work that can be done in practice.

they should get rid of the HIA and adopt the same rule as in community rugby : a player who suffers a bang on the head and/or displays symptoms of concussion should be removed from the game (recognise and remove). Unfortunately WR are unwilling to do that in the professional game, and we soldier on with the HIA, allowing such players to return to the pitch.
 

Marc Wakeham


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they should get rid of the HIA and adopt the same rule as in community rugby : a player who suffers a bang on the head and/or displays symptoms of concussion should be removed from the game (recognise and remove). Unfortunately WR are unwilling to do that in the professional game, and we soldier on with the HIA, allowing such players to return to the pitch.

I agree with Crossref 100% on this.
 

Arabcheif

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This is a tough subject to comment on. But I do think concussion is something that medically has been known about for decades. Seems daft to me to not realise that repeated significant contacts to any part of the body won't have an affect. So for me I play, I accept the risks involved. No-one has spelled out the risks, they're quite obvious, to me anyway lol. It's a collision based sport, there is always gonna be risks.

I don't see much wrong with HIA protocols ATM. Unless the Clubs own Doctors are doing the assessment, as they'll have an expectation with any borderline results to err towards returning the player to benefit his/her employers. The HIAs if not already done so, need to be done by an appointed Doctor.
 

Marc Wakeham


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There is a big difference between:

repeated significant contacts to the leg. Outcome possible muscle damage / broken bone

and

repeated significant contacts to the head. Outcome possible long term disability through brain damage.
 

crossref


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I don't see much wrong with HIA protocols ATM. Unless the Clubs own Doctors are doing the assessment, as they'll have an expectation with any borderline results to err towards returning the player to benefit his/her employers. The HIAs if not already done so, need to be done by an appointed Doctor.

they are done by the clubs own doctors, of course.

having appointed doctors would just raise different ethical issues : outside of an emergency situation a doctor can't just walk up and give treatment/diagnosis to a stranger. There are questions of consent, and the need to take a medical history etc. People have the right to be treated by their own doctor. Indeed a doctor would normally defer to the patient's own doctor. Doctors aren't match officials.

BTW - I am not making any claim that individual doctors are not doing the HIA properly. I suspect the whole idea of the HIA is misguded.
 
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