Mission & Vision Statement

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Rugby Research & Injury Prevention Group Inc. Mission Statement

The Rugby Research and Injury Prevention Group, Inc. (“RRIPG”) is a not for profit organization dedicated to rugby player welfare research, education and training.  Our Board has many relationships in the local, regional, national and global rugby community and sports.  The group is comprised of professionals from various backgrounds, including experts in sports science and medicine, traumatology, orthopedics, pain management, dieticians, athletic trainers, physiotherapists and statisticians.  Their focus is on obtaining the proper data needed to nurture health and safety in the U.S. rugby playing population.  Player welfare is a critical issue and is inherently entwined with the continued growth of the rugby in America.

RRIPG’s goal is to analyze rates and causes of injuries in rugby codes, on the levels of play, of the multiple formats whether sevens, tens or fifteens.  This is to develop injury prevention strategies with evidence-based, gender-focused and level specific data to improve player welfare.

Medical Advisory Board (RRIPG-MAB): Mission Statement

The RRIPG Medical Advisory Board (RRIPG-MAB) is made up of healthcare professionals, medical officers, sports scientists and consultants from major clinical and scientific disciplines who have initially advised the northeastern geographic unions on player welfare, safety and medical matters for many years, with plans to advise any and all rugby affiliated groups, teams, event planners or domestic unions in rugby on multiple safety and injury prevention.  Rugby is receiving increased attention in America over the past decade, recently with the inclusion of Rugby Union Sevens (also known as seven-players-a-side or Rugby-7s) in the 2009 Summer Olympics.  Youth rugby is expanding at an exponential rate in the US, and it has been touted that there are an estimated 5 million American children who have been exposed to rugby in the past couple of years, according to USA Rugby, the United States domestic governing body. According to the global governing body, World Rugby (formerly the International Rugby Football Board), there has been an exponential growth of American participation from 2010 (>88,000 participants) increasing in 2012 (457,983) and presently climbing since 2014 (>1.4 million).

The RRIPG-MAB will meet biannually and advise policies on player welfare and safety matters.  The decision of the RRIPG-MAB to create this board was in its view of the current advancement and, local and global growth of rugby.

World Rugby drew up a consensus document on injury definitions and data collection procedures for studies of injuries in rugby union and the document was subsequently published jointly in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine in May 2007.  This consensus document was intended for use in all injury surveys in Rugby.  The RRIPG used this document to comprise their own tool the Rugby Injury Survey and Evaluation (RISE Report, published in AJSM 2012).  The RISE report-tool captures the important foundational data collection necessary, from the consensus statement and added the biomechanical characteristics of rugby injuries, needed to analyze the sport further.  The RISE report was created by the authors and takes into consideration many factors that are necessary to evaluate rugby injuries (see the Appendix, available online at http://ajs.sagepub.com/supplemental/). This format of injury surveillance, also provides an efficient approach to ask injured players the risk factors associated with their injury.  This document was intended not to replace the World Rugby (formally the IRB)- Rugby Injury Consensus Group (RICG) consensus statement, but to incorporate what the RICG created and assess further the needed data to evaluate the mechanism of rugby injuries. The RISE report applying the RICG standards should ensure that more consistent and interstudy comparisons can and will be obtained from current and future studies of injuries in Rugby globally.

The RISE report has been used in all injury surveys carried out during rugby injury studies in the USA at minor and major sanctioned USA Rugby and USA Sevens LLC events attended by the RRIPG staff since 2009. Injury Surveys carried out include:

  1. A college and adult men’s seasonal club Rugby-15s comparative study carried out in 2010, presented at the Annual General Meeting of the USA Rugby Territorial RFU/Competitive Regions. These studies will be published. This project was funded by the USA Rugby Northeast competitive region (Empire Geographic Union (GU) Rugby Football Union (RFU) and New England GU RFU,).
  2. A USA Rugby Territorial RFU/Competitive Region sponsored study in collaboration with Hospital for Special Surgery, “Profile of an American Amateur Rugby Unon Sevens Series carried out in 2010, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine (online in 2011). This project was funded by the USA Rugby Northeast Competitive region.
  3. Endorsed by USA Rugby and USA Sevens LLC to collect data at their events.
  4. A case-study, of a Rugby-15’s injury carried out with global interest in an under investigated area of study: Costal cartilage fractures and disruptions in a rugby football player, published in 2012 in Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.
  5. The 3rd International Olympic Committee’s World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport, held in the Kingdom of Monaco, 2012’s presentation by Lyndon_B_Gross, MD PhD, Chesterfield, Missouri. Gross LB, Lopez, Jr., V, Allen AA: Injuries (Shoulder) in Judo, Taekwondo and Rugby Sevens.
  6. A 4-year follow-up of U.S. Rugby Sevens injuries (2010-2013) in Orthopedic Journal Sports Medicine. 2014, in Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, on our USA Rugby Territorial RFU/Competitive Regions and major USA Rugby sanctioned events.
  7. First to present on the topic of rugby and it’s injuries at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) the world leader in sports medicine education, research, communication, and fellowship, working closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries.  During it’s 2014 Annual Meeting/Final Program, Seattle, WA. on An American Experience with a New Olympic Collision Sport: Rugby Sevens, Orthopedic Journal Sports Medicine. This project was funded by Hospital for Special Surgery, the USAR Northeast TU and aid from USA Sevens LLC.
  8. The trade media outlet Orthopedics Today interviewed Dr. Victor Lopez Jr., DO, who “Expands on a study regarding injuries to rugby players..”
  9. Presented at the USA Rugby Medical Symposium, on a national scale of injuries in Rugby-7s, at the 2014 Annual Meeting
  10. RRIPG in 2014 began collaborating with the internationally known Auckland University of Technology’s Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand  (AUT/SPRINZ).  They collaborate with many entities, including World Rugby and its IRB Health Study in conjunction with New Zealand Rugby Union to provide detailed information to colleagues globally on their findings and present at all major scientific conferences. The leaders of this group, were some of the presenters at the special section on injury prevention in Rugby Union, at the 2nd IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in Tromso, Norway June 26 – 28 2008.  Including World Rugby (IRB) who were co-sponsors with other major federations.
  11. With our advancing understanding of the sport, we have been made members of the Auckland University of Technology’s Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Rugby Codes Interdisciplinary Research Group (Highlighted in Auckland University’s Rugby Codes Interdisciplinary Research Group e-Mag Issue 4 22.09.16).  This is an international group with aims of collaborating with groups and institutions globally and conveying information on rugby codes advancing science and injury prevention to peers in science of rugby and the public.
  12. The first analysis carried out in 2015 on Concussions in US Rugby-7s published by the American College of Sports Medicine’s journal of cutting-edge research: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (MSSE) , ACSM’s flagship monthly journal, is the leading multidisciplinary original research journal for members. Each issue features original investigations, clinical studies and comprehensive reviews on current topics in sports medicine and exercise science.
  13. The first global manuscript dedicated to women’s injuries in US Rugby-7s tournaments, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (MSSE).
  14. Our progress has been highlighted at the internationally attended American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting consecutively over 2015, 2016 and 2017.  With the most recent studies:
    1.  Injury_Profile_Of_Elite_U_S__Rugby_7s_Players
    2.  Injury_Profile_Of_Non-Elite_U_S_Rugby-7s_Players
    3.  Analysis on the USA Rugby National 7-a-side Club Championships (planned for 2017)
    4.  Analysis on U.S. College-Aged Player Injuries (planned for 2017)
    5.  Analysis on Injuries in Levels of Play in U.S. Rugby (planned for 2017)
    6.  Analysis on U.S. Under-19 (U19) Player Injuries (planned for 2017)
  15. In 2017 Lopez et al will be presenting at three of the major Sports Medicine Conferences: the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport, the 2017 11th Biennial ISAKOS Congress and the internationally attended American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
  16. Lopez et al 2012 AJSM “Profile of an American Amateur Rugby Unon Sevens Series has been referenced in multiple manuscripts as per National Center for Biotechnology Information in PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

Steering and Advisory Board (RRIPG-SAB): Mission Statement

The RRIPG Steering and Advisory Board (RRIPG-SAB) board is comprised by many professionals, incorporating the business sector, sports management and athletic arena, many with a direct involvement in a rugby group or entity, to provide the RRIPG and its officers with strategic direction and applicable guidance.

  1. To monitor the current and future plans of the group. Plans for dissemination regarding updates, statements and guidance notes created.
  2. The Board is to oversee the production, functionality, management and deployment of the work and data-collection sites of the Rugby Research and Injury Prevention Group.
  3. Work conjointly with local, national and global governance, groups and affiliates to address sports injury issues as they impact of the player welfare and safety risk in the US rugby playing population and how it may influence the current rules and policy.
  4. Work conjointly with local, national and global entities and liaison with other key healthcare organizations that can assist guidance in the Boards work.
  5. Bridge RRIPG in further aims in researching relevant sports medicine and science concerns to nurture the sport of US rugby.
  6. Aid in the development of positional statements and guidance notes to assist RRIPG in making evidence-based and sound decisions to decrease risk for participation.
  7. Maintain and administer a national sports injury surveillance system. RRIPG-MAB will analyze and interpret the scientific injury data. This collected information will allow the RRIPG to provide and employ evidence-based injury prevention protocols to the US Rugby community with the intent to reduce risk through possible changes in rules and/or equipment involved in the sport.
  8. Provide the RRIPG Administrators and membership current information on sports medicine issues through the RISE Rugby Updates, the Sports Medicine section of the RRIPG web site and through other RRIPG publications.