School Rugby – Ban Tackles?

Should school Rugby be a contact sport?

Should tackles be banned from school rugby and the game changed to contactless Tag Rugby?

The debate is raging with both the Guardian and BBC giving extensive coverage in the last few days. Each side seems to have facts and figures to back up their argument:

Make School Rugby contactless

  • 63% of injuries in school rugby are from tackles.
  • 30% of school rugby players sustain one or more injuries.
  • Half of injured players need a month or more off school.
  • Children are not able to opt out of Rugby at school

Tag Rugby is unnecessary

  • There are more injuries in the playground.
  • If we ban contact rugby we’ll end up having no sport at all.
  • Great steps have been taken to make Rugby safer at school.
  • We need to ensure good quality training, not ban tackles.
  • If kids aren’t allowed to tackle until they’re 18 they will be even more dangerous when they start.

As Solicitors who specialise in cases of spinal injury we take this debate very seriously. There are enough examples of young lives changed forever after being injured on the Rugby field, whilst paralysis is a very rare potential outcome we have to ask if that level of risk can be justified in a junior sport.

One positive step would be to ensure that all school Rugby is voluntary and that parents can withdraw their child from this sport with no repercussions for the child.

This is clearly an important and difficult topic with strong views on each side. We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

We are a back and spinal injury  specialist law firm. If you or a loved one has suffered a back or spinal ijnury you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injury and any consequential costs such as rehabilitation. You are welcome to contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. Please phone us on 0114 256 0111, or email us, or use the form on this page.