Enhancing player safety and game welfare is a primary concern and responsibility of Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario. Consequently, all matches played under the jurisdiction of Rugby Canada and the provincial unions must comply with Rugby Canada Concussion Guidelines (recognize and remove). To assist in player safety and game welfare, Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario has rolled out the Blue Card at all levels of the game in Ontario.
WHAT IS A BLUE CARD?
The Blue Card is a process initiated by a coach, player or match official and delivered on field by the Match Official to identify a player who has been removed from the field of play due to a suspected concussion in accordance with Law 3.22 or Law 3.24.
The Match Official or designate will submit a Blue Card Report in an automated online platform (Rugby Canada will be using SportLomo) which will trigger a process to ensure the correct return to play protocols are followed.
The Blue Card has been already successfully introduced in Australia, New Zealand and France.
The pilot was conducted in all Marshall, OWL, McCormick Cup and OWL Cup 1st team matches during the 2019 season. There were seven players issued a Blue Card during that time which meant that these players were not able to participate in a game until they had been medically assessed, and if necessary cleared. Through this pilot, we kept players out of the games until they were cleared. Due to the requirements of Rowans Law and the successful implementation of the Blue Card Pilot, the Blue Card will be introduced throughout all rugby activities conducted under the jurisdiction of Rugby Ontario in the 2021 season.
BLUE CARD PROCESS
When a player is removed from the field of play for a suspected concussion, the match official or designated individual will issue that player with a “Blue Card”, in a similar manner to which a red or yellow card is issued. For rugby activities without a Match Official, coaches or administrators will notify Rugby Ontario via issuing a Blue Card via SportLomo Team Sheets, or if not available, contacting Rugby Ontario at firstname.lastname@example.org. All member clubs will designate a Blue Card Officer(s) to ensure that the process is followed for all rugby activities within their club.
That player is required to leave the field of play immediately and cannot return and play in that match. Please note in accordance with World Rugby and Rugby Canada direction, there is no sideline Head Injury Assessment (HIA) process at any level of Club rugby.
The match official includes the issuing of the Blue Card in their match report.
The player and their club receive an email notification from Rugby Ontario of the issuing of the Blue Card and the required process to the followed (Appendix C).
The player issued with the Blue Card cannot return to play in any future match without receiving a written medical clearance, meeting the requirements of the World Rugby Return to Play Protocols and receiving a written clearance from Rugby Ontario to return to play.
For rugby activities without a Match Official, coaches or administrators will notify Rugby Ontario via issuing a Blue Card via SportLomo Team Sheets, or if not available, contacting Rugby Ontario at email@example.com
To assist in player safety and game welfare, Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario will implement the Blue Card at all levels of the game under Rugby Ontario jurisdiction in 2022. In 2021, the Blue Card will be reinstated into Senior Competitions once more formal inter-club, contact rugby activities are permitted to resume.