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Rugby League links with Leeds Beckett University

The Rugby Football League will shortly launch a pilot for an extensive game-wide research project to quantify the risk of head impact in the sport with the aim of increasing understanding and reducing future risk.

The 12 Betfred Super League clubs have agreed to work with the RFL on the Instrumented Mouthguard Project, with research to be led by Leeds Beckett University.

It is intended to cover more than 1,200 players across 50 teams at various levels of the game, also including Academy players, the Betfred Women’s Super League – which resumes this weekend - and a number of different age groups at Community clubs.

The pilots will run from May to August, and will involve the research team testing different instrumented mouthguards on the various groups of players in both training and matches. The findings of the pilot study will inform which instrumented mouthguards are selected for the project to begin in November 2021 and run for three years.

It is intended that the research project will align with the detailed injury surveillance which is already underway for the Men’s and Women’s Super League and (Men’s) Academy competitions, with a focus on three questions:

  1. What are the head impact exposures across Rugby League, to quantify player load profiles?

  2. How does tackle technique and tackle height influence head impacts within Rugby League?

  3. What are the biomechanical mechanisms during concussion events in Super League? 

Professor Ben Jones, the lead researcher from Leeds Beckett University and the Head of Performance of the RFL’s England Performance Unit, said:

“In Rugby League as in other sports, there is widespread recognition of the need to maximise our understanding of the impact of head collisions. Mouthguard technology has recently developed rapidly, allowing valid measures of head impacts and movement.

“Instrumented mouthguards are already being used by some clubs in Rugby League (with Leeds Rhinos using them since 2020 and Salford Red Devils starting to use them for the 2021 Season); however, a game-wide project will enable a better understanding across different levels of the sport with a bigger data set.”

The data provided will allow a detailed analysis of head accelerations, which can then be used to better understand the load players are exposed to in Rugby League. The biomechanics aspects of the project will be led by Dr Gregory Tierney (University of Leeds and Ulster University).

Karen Moorhouse, the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer, said:

“The wellbeing of players is a top priority of the RFL and clubs. The RFL has protocols across the game in relation to concussion (covering recognition, removal and rehabilitation) with the aim of protecting the welfare and health of players. These protocols have evolved as a result of increased knowledge of concussions.  The RFL sees this project (and the ability to make evidence-based decisions on the basis of the outcomes) as an important next step in the understanding of head impacts and has committed to it for the benefit of current and future players.”


Club Cash

AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

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