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Rugby Football League Launches Mouthguard Testing Program to Investigate Causes and Effects of Concussions |  Rugby League News


The 12 Betfred Super League clubs will work with RFL on the Instrumented Mouth-Guard project; The program aims to cover around 50 teams at all levels of the game, including the academy, Betfred Women’s Super League and community clubs.

Last updated: 04/14/21 10:13 am

Researchers will test different instrumented mouthguards during training and matches

The Rugby Football League will launch a pilot project involving more than 1,200 players for a large game-wide research project on the causes and effects of concussions.

The 12 Betfred Super League clubs are due to work with RFL on the Instrumented Mouth-Guard project, with research by Leeds Beckett University aimed at quantifying the risk of head impact in rugby league.

The program aims to cover around 50 teams at all levels of the game, including the academy, Betfred Women’s Super League and community clubs.

The pilot projects will run from May to August and will involve researchers testing different instrumented mouthguards both in training and in matches.

Leeds Rhinos have been using them since 2020 and Salford Red Devils have started using them this season, while several rugby union clubs have tested them as well.

The results will determine which instrumented mouthguards will be selected for the project, which is due to start in November and last for three years.

Researchers will aim to shed more light on head impact exposures and discover how tackle technique and tackle height influence head impacts.

Professor Ben Jones, Principal Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University and Head of Performance at the England Performance Unit of the RFL, said: “In rugby league, as in other sports, there is It is widely recognized that there is a need to maximize our understanding of the impact of head crashes.

“Mouthguard technology has developed rapidly recently, allowing valid measurements of impacts and head movements.

Rugby Football League Launches Mouthguard Testing Program to Investigate Causes and Effects of Concussions |  Rugby League News

Leeds Rhinos have been testing mouthguards since last year

“Instrumented mouthguards are already in use by some clubs in the rugby league, but a game-wide project will allow for a better understanding at different levels of the sport with a larger dataset.”

Karen Moorhouse, RFL Regulatory Officer, said: “The welfare of the players is a top priority for RFL and the clubs.

“The RFL has across-the-game concussion protocols (covering recognition, withdrawal and rehabilitation) with the goal of protecting the well-being and health of the players.

“These protocols have evolved thanks to a better knowledge of concussions.

“The RFL sees this project as an important next step in understanding head impacts and is committed to it for the benefit of current and future actors.”

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