Medical and Safety
To better understand rugby injuries in South Africa, it is crucial that one aligns injury prevention, identification, treatment, reporting and monitoring strategies as close as practically possible to the internationally accepted standards and guidelines. Given the diversity within South Africa, this is not always possible at certain levels of play. However, BokSmart has developed structured and evidence-based medical protocols to try and address rugby injuries in a credible and scientific manner. As adequate medical personnel and support are frequently not available at matches, and definitely not at practices, these protocols are also there to provide coaches, referees, and players with a better understanding of injuries, how to prevent them and how they should be managed appropriately on the field. From a serious injury management perspective, a coach or referee will know at the very least, what not to do, how to manage the situation, and engage appropriate medical support as quickly as possible.
Prevention is always better than cure and with this in mind the BokSmart program addresses numerous topical issues around injury prevention, injury management, rugby safety and performance:
- Eating and Drinking Right for Rugby
- Effective Play and Controlling the Game
- Fair Play and the BokSmart Code of Conduct
- Management of Rugby Injuries
- Physical Preparation and Recovery Techniques
- Pre-participation Screening of Players
- Pre-season Testing and the Physical Profiling of Players
- Protective Equipment in Rugby
- Safety in the Playing Environment
- Serious Injury Protocol
- Strength and Conditioning for Effective Rugby
To ensure the success of the BokSmart program, legislation forms a crucial cog in the wheel. BokSmart aims to legislate that no coach or referee may put a team on the field or blow a game respectively, unless they have undergone the BokSmart training workshop. They would have to renew their “licence” every two years. Unfortunately you cannot enforce legislation unless you have provided everyone with the opportunity to be trained, and therefore the extended deadline for legislation. BokSmart also aims to legislate and enforce specific medical protocols and minimum medical guidelines for rugby participation. BokSmart aims to motivate any other legislative changes in the game within South Africa on the basis of scientific evidence or current best clinical practice guidelines.
Rugby Safety Regulations
- SARU Regulations on BokSmart Rugby Safety Workshops
- Modified Amateur Rugby Scrum Laws (accepted 20 Feb 2014)
- Medical Personnel Entering the Field of Play
Rugby Safety Special Regulations
Rugby Safety Audit Templates
- BokSmart Team Sheet: 22-man squads
- BokSmart Team Sheet: 23-man squads
- BokSmart Team sheet: Sevens Rugby (2018)
- Match Report Template
- Match Day & Individual Match Audit template
- Match Day & Individual Match Audit Summary Report Checklist
- Comprehensive Audit Template
- Comprehensive Audit Summary Checklist
- Field Safety Inspection Template
BokSmart “Safe Six”
SA Rugby have introducing to the South African Rugby playing community a group of injury prevention exercises called the BokSmart ‘Safe Six’.
These exercises are well-established and frequently utilised in injury prevention and rehabilitation settings. Injury surveillance studies in rugby have identified that the knee, hamstrings, lower limb, ankle and shoulder are often injured, are generally more severe and are potentially also preventable.
The BokSmart ‘Safe Six’ exercises specifically target these areas of the body that have been identified, and have been packaged in such a way as to be reasonably challenging, but still easy to implement, and without any equipment required. The exercises have been chosen to focus on joint stability, strength, balance and control, and can be done in a very short time, and can even be incorporated into the warm-up at practices.
SA Rugby encourage all coaches, players, parents, teachers and anyone involved in rugby to use the BokSmart “Safe Six’. Let’s all work together in keeping our players on the fields playing rugby and reaping all of the health, teamwork and social benefits of playing the game.
Here is to Smarter Safer Rugby, and let’s Practice ‘Safe Six’ on the rugby fields.