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The concussion debate
IRB tweaks concussion protocols
ESPN Staff
May 20, 2014

The International Rugby Board has made two changes to its concussion protocols.

The Pitch-side Suspected Concussion Assessment currently sees players taken off the field for a period of time if the referee deems them to have suffered a suspected concussion. At present, the assessment time is five minutes but that will now be extended to 10.

Alongside that extended timeframe, the IRB committee has approved an expansion to the memory and balance tests the players undergo. These new aspects to the PSCA will come into play on June 1.

"Concussion management and education sits at the very top of the IRB's player welfare strategies aimed at informing, supporting and protecting players at all levels of the game," said IRB CEO Brett Gosper. "The IRB centres its player welfare policies on evidence-based research and we are delighted that the data from this trial indicates we are making strong progress while informing the areas where we can continue to learn, improve and ultimately drive forward player welfare best-practice.

"Concussion is a serious public health issue that affects many sports. The PSCA has proven a successful part of our long-term commitment to educating and protecting players at all levels and driving cultural change."

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