Inquiry and Engagement
Match Official Experiences with the Blue Card Protocol in Amateur Rugby: Implementing Rowan’s Law for Concussion Management View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Michael Jorgensen
The Blue Card protocol was introduced to domestic amateur rugby competitions to bring Rugby Canada into compliance with provincial concussion legislation. The Blue Card protocol formalizes how match officials can remove an athlete with a suspected concussion from play and prevents athletes from returning to sport without medical clearance. This study explores the experiences of Canadian rugby match officials with the novel Blue Card process. Semi-structured interviews conducted with six Canadian rugby match officials were subjected to Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Findings revealed interpersonal and intrapersonal factors related to the successful implementation of concussion management protocols. Match officials distinguished engagement from community members as being in support of the Blue Card or actively resisting efforts to implement the novel concussion protocol. Those who had personal experience removing an athlete from play due to a suspected concussion or who had administered a Blue Card during the pilot reported feeling more comfortable with the process than less experienced peers. Participants had concerns about the personal liability associated with the Blue Card process. Implications for the design and implementation of sport-related concussion research and policy at the amateur level are discussed.
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session William Breffle
Numerous factors can affect the outcomes of sports matches; the number of referees should not be one of them. Michigan Technological University has been home to broomball matches for over 70 years. Estimating a negative binomial model, we find that varying the number of referees has the potential to render this sport, and other low-scoring, goal-based sports, inconsequential due to the measurable bias in the score count when there are too few referees – a one-referee reduction lowers total scoring by about one goal. We recommend that the number of referees be constant.